India’s highest ranked player Yuki Bhambri has pulled out of the Davis Cup tie against China owing to a minor abdominal tissue tear. The selection committee has picked World No. 246 Prajnesh Gunneswaran as Yuki’s replacement as he is the next best singles ranked player.
After losing to hosts Canada 2-3 in the World Group play-offs in September last year, top seeds India, who got a first-round bye, will yet again play an away tie. India will face China in the Asia/Oceania Group 1 second round at Tianjin, China on April 6-7.
The visitors, who enjoy a dominant 3-0 head-to-head record against China, last played them in 2005.
The other singles players in the squad include Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal. While Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna will represent India in the men’s doubles.
India have made four successive attempts to climb into the World Group since 2014 having lost to Serbia, the Czech Republic, Spain and Canada.
The pull-out comes as a setback for India as Yuki, ranked 107, has created excellent results against top players of late. He registered the biggest win of his career, shocking world number 12 Lucas Pouille in the second round of Indian Wells Masters. He continued with his commendable performance in the ATP Circuit reaching the second round of the Miami Open before losing to USA’s Jack Sock 3-6, 6-7.