Amritraj takes on Romania's no 2 in Davis Cup opener

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Bucharest, Romania, Sep 18 (UNI) Prakash Amritraj will kick off India's Davis Cup campaign taking on Adrian Cruciat while Somdev Devvarman will have a tough task at hands as the left-hander has been drawn against Romania's number one player Victor Hanescu in the crucial World Group play-off that gets underway here tomorrow.

Amritraj, who staged a miraculous comeback in his last Davis Cup singles' tie against Japan, is struggling with form and a lot will depend on how the talented Somdev plays his both the singles' matches.

Somdev might be locked in a situation where he will have to win both singles, which will be nothing less then a miracle and reverse singles matches while in doubles, the tried and tested duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi will have to live up to their reputation if India has to re-enter the elite group.

The Paes-Bhupathi duo will fight it out with Cruciat and Horia Tecau in the doubles.

The winning nation will secure a place in the 2009 World Group, while the losing nation will compete in their respective zonal Group I competitions.

Somdev comes in the Indian squad in place of Rohan Bopanna and have a non-playing captain in S P Mishra in place of Paes, who quit as playing skipper after the Beijing Olympics.

India's fate is linked with Somdev's performance who will be playing in his second Davis Cup tie.

He, however, is in good nick having won an ATP Challenger tournament in Lexington and reached quarterfinals of Vanvouver Challenger in July.

The promising youngster also reached the last-eight stage of the Washington ATP event. His ranking soared to 242 due to the stupendous run and he became the second highest ranked Indian on the ATP singles chart.

Prakash, on the other hand, has seen a sudden slump in form as he tamely lost both the Challengers at New Delhi last month.

India last played Romania in the Davis Cup way back in 1971 in New Delhi and lost that inter-zonal round I tie 1-4.


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