An away match with Korea has brought with it the familiar woes of cold weather to the Indian Davis Cup team.
updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
New Delhi:An away match with Korea has brought with it the familiar woes of cold weather to the Indian Davis Cup team. Leander Paes and his men are in danger of going into the Asia-Oceania Group 1 first round tie - from Friday to Sunday this week at Changwon near Busan - without any worthwhile match practice as their training has been curtailed by heavy snowfall. "It has been snowing everyday since we came. The venue and the practice area have all been under three feet of snow," playing captain Paes said. "At the moment, I think weather could pose the major threat to our players than the opponents themselves." Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna and Prakash Amritraj are the other nominated players of the team with 19-year old Karan Rastogi in the squad as reserve member. Practice sessions hit Whereas Bhupathi departed from Bangalore on Monday night, the rest of the team including coach Nandan Bal had been in Changwon, 50 km from Busan, since Sunday. But in three days they had had only one real practice session, a long one on Monday evening stretching into the darkness. The quartet has generally spent the time working on its fitness. "We have used the hotel gym to do some weight training and stretching. The corridors have served as the sprint tracks," Paes said. The captain said the players were fit and fine, but coming as they were from tropical countries, they found the conditions in Korea a bit difficult. "At the Australian Open, the on court temperatures were 51 degrees Celcius, and here it is minus three," Paes put the matter in perspective. India have never beaten Korea on their soil and the rivals lead 4-3 on head to head as well. The Korean team, captained by Yong-Dae Jeon, includes the seasoned Hyung-Taik Lee, Woong-Sun Jun, Hee-Seok Chung and Oh-Hee Kwon. Hard court game The tie coming weekend would be played on hardcourts outdoors, making things that much difficult for the Indians. Paes opted to not play the singles rubber in the World Group play-off against Sweden last September. He, however, was still to completely recover from a shoulder injury then. Asked if he would name himself to take on the opponent's number one player on Friday, the captain played his card close to his chest. "I don't want to reveal our plans in advance to the enemy camp. You will know that when the draw is made. As always, we aim to put our best foot forward," he said. (PTI)