India’s Davis Cup team suffered a blow on Saturday as doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna withdrew from the upcoming World Group 1 tie against Norway due to a knee injury.
The Indian team is scheduled to play the tie in Lillehammer, Norway on September 16 and 17 for a chance to make it to the World Group Qualifiers. With Bopanna out though, the visiting team will have to rely on the remaining five members in the team to compete in the lone doubles match, or fly in another doubles specialist from India.
Norway meanwhile boast Casper Ruud in their squad, who has reached the US Open final, and is just a win away from becoming the new World No 1.
“I have had to make a tough call this week against my constant love (and) devotion towards representing the country (and) withdraw from the Davis Cup team against Norway,” Bopanna announced on social media.
“I have an inflammation on my knee and have been advised to rest it before I start competing again.”
The 42-year-old had made it to the semifinal of the men’s doubles event at the French Open earlier this year with Dutch partner Matwe Middelkoop. He later opted to skip ranking-less Wimbledon in order to rest and recover.
At the US Open, he lost in the first round of both the men’s and mixed doubles events.
With Bopanna out, the Indian squad now has Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Sasikumar Mukund, Yuki Bhambri and Sumit Nagal.
There is a possibility that Ramkumar and Bhambri could pair up for the doubles match. Ramkumar had teamed up with Bopanna to win two doubles ATP titles earlier this year, while Bhambri has won five doubles Challenger titles this season, with Saketh Myneni.