India have been drawn to face Canada in the World Group Playoff of the Davis Cup which will be held in Canada on September 15-17 with the victor progressing to the World Group for 2018 Davis Cup. This comes on the back of India beating Uzbekistan convincingly 4-1 in Bengaluru in the Asian Oceania Zone Round 2 matchup. Earlier, India had beaten New Zealand by a 4-1 margin in the first round. Uzbekistan tie was Mahesh Bhupathi’s first as India’s non-playing captain after he came in to replace Anand Amritraj.
India have lost their last three World Group Playoff ties – all played at home – against Serbia (3-2, 2014), Czech Republic (3-1, 2015) and Spain (5-0, 2016).
India last played in the World Group fixtures in 2011 when they went down to Serbia 4-1 away from home in the very first round. The same year, India went down to Japan by the same margin in the World Group Playoff tie.
The last time India went beyond the first round in Davis Cup was way back in 1996 when they beat Netherlands before being blanked 5-0 by Sweden in the quarterfinals.
India’s win against Uzbekistan, however, has been marred by controversy following comments made by Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi with the former dropped to the bench for the first time in 27 years. Paes was left disappointed to not have been told that there was no place for him in the final-four but Bhupathi revealed that this was indeed told to him. The comments were then made public in yet another case of linen being washed in the public. On Tuesday, Sports Minister Vijay Goel offered to play mediator and solve their issues.