Since political relations between the two countries haven’t improved after the Kashmir issue arose in August, the AITA has cited security concerns. A decision to not play the tie in Islamabad could attract sanctions and penalties.
Post-Olympic, and even post-retirement depression has been a severe problem for athletes. The likes of Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe and 10-time Olympic medallist Allison Schmitt have openly spoken about the depression that fills the void left behind after a major competition.
The Group 1 Asia/Oceania clash is scheduled to take place on November 29-30 in Islamabad, but the national federation has cited security concerns and asked for the tie to be held at a neutral venue instead.
On Friday, India will be added to the list of select countries – the likes of China, Germany, England, Mexico and even the Philippines – to have hosted a pre-season NBA game, when the Pacers and Kings face off in Mumbai.
This was the fourth time an Indian had squared up against the Swiss. Rohan Bopanna played Federer in Halle in 2006. Somdev Devvarman played him twice - first at the Dubai Open in 2011 and then in the second round of the French Open in 2013.
From hanging around the outer courts in Pune, Nagal has secured himself a spot in the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career, and will play his first-round match in the largest tennis arena in the world, Arthur Ashe Stadium against Federer.
The Indian sports ministry however has made it clear that the government will in no way interfere with the AITA’s decision to send a team for the Asia/Oceania Group 1 tie scheduled to take place in Islamabad on September 14-15.