Arch-rivals, India and Pakistan are all set to clash against each other at the Davis Cup after a long wait of 13 years. This will mark the seventh clash between the two fierce rivals. On all the previous six occasions, India had ended up on the victorious side. This will be the third occasion where India play their neighbors intheir country for a Davis Cup game. 1964 was the last time team India made the trip to Lahore in Pakistan for the Davis Cup tie.
Fast forward to 2019, the two teams will now face each other on the grass courts of the Pakistan Sports Complex in the capital city of Islamabad on the 14th and 15th of September. The revelation was made following an official announcement from ITF. The Pakistan Sports Complex was also the host to Uzbekistan and South Korea last year.
The Pakistani team will comprise of the ever-green doubles team of Aisam-ul-Haq and Aqueel Khan. On the opposite side will be Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rohan Bopanna representing India.
Bopanna is the only current Indian player to have faced Pakistan at the Davis Cup. The 38-year-old played only one game in the 2006 Davis Cup tie, but was defeated by Aisam-ul-Haq in straight sets. Nevertheless, team India managed to turn the over-all result in their favor with a scoreline of 3-2.
It is notable to say that Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq have both played the doubles together for a good time span since 2007. The duo reached the doubles final of the 2010 US Open, where they eventually lost to Bryan brothers.
The team of Bopanna from India and Aisam from Pakistan were dubbed as a “Peace Pair” due to their partnership despite the ongoing political tensions between the two neighboring countries.
Coming back to the Davis Cup, the Indian players have managed to win 23 out of 27 rubbers against Pakistan. Team India has been represented by 13 players over the years while Pakistan has had 15 players against India at the tournament.
The Group I consists of big names including Korea, China, Pakistan, India, Lebanon and Uzbekistan according to the recently announced Davis Cup reforms. The winner of the tie will qualify for the World Group play-offs.