NEW DELHI: The captain may be loathe to the idea but DLTA today defended the decision to slot the Davis Cup matches against Spain in the evening, saying the aim is to make the event more accessible to the tennis fans and save Indian players from cramping.
India's captain Anand Amrtiraj has said that the country has lost home advantage by not hosting matches in hot and humid conditions.
Delhi Lawn Tennis Association though argued that Indian players were troubled by heat during the Korea tie in Chandigarh and they did not want a repeat and thus special medical facilities have also been arranged.
"This (medical facilities) has been done especially keeping in mind that both Korean and Indian players started cramping in hot and humid conditions in Chandigarh in the last Davis Cup tie held in July against Korea.
"It was felt that hot and humid conditions can lead to cramping especially when players are playing five-set matches and it is important that highest level of medical attention should be made available at the venue," a DLTA press release stated.
India's Saketh Myneni and Korea's Kyu Lim had struggled to stand on court due to severe cramping in the Chandigarh tie, with the former even skipping his reverse singles match on the final day in July.
DLTA said it wanted fans to throng to the stadium to cheer the Indian players and also cited examples of popular league International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) and Champions Tennis League (CTL) that host matches in the evening.
"Like other high profile events including Chennai Open, Champions Tennis League organized by Mr Vijay Amritraj and IPTL organized by Globosports, DLTA has chosen to host the matches during evening time to make the event more accessible and friendly to the tennis loving people of Delhi so that the stadium is filled to capacity to cheer the Indian team."
The DLTA has also decided against charging any money from the fans for watching top tennis stars in action and is set to distribute free tickets.
"Although Davis Cup ties do not generate any surplus because of high costs attached to the same in terms of organisational costs including minimum requirements as stipulated by ITF and players' fees and travelling expenses, it is a matter of great pride for DLTA to organize this prestigious Davis Cup tie," DLTA General Secretary Lt.Col Ranbir Chauhan was quoted as saying in the release.
"DLTA has decided not to sell tickets in order to encourage young tennis players to come and witness the world's leading players live on the courts of DLTA."