India vs NZ Davis Cup: A big opportunity for the likes of Yuki, Vishnu and Sharan to move up the ladder

Indian tennis is clearly in a phase of transition, and the youngsters know that the vacuum will have to be filled up sooner than later, says a report in The Times Of India. “Reputations will be made, new stars will be born, and so there is plenty to play for when India take on New Zealand in the Davis Cup match. “The tie versus New Zealand, starting at the CLTA on Friday, could well mark a significant step towards stardom for the likes of Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan and Divij Sharan,” says the report, adding that Yuki is a step ahead of the rest, in the sense that he has already made his move by breaking into the world's top 200 in singles.

“It's time for consolidation for the former junior Australian Open champion. For Vishnu and debutant Divij, the ensuing Davis Cup tie will throw up a far bigger test. Vishnu has been presented with the opportunity of playing both singles and doubles. A couple of impressive performances here will help him push for a singles slot in future Cup ties even when Somdev Devvarman returns to the squad and also stake claim for a doubles berth with Leander Paes in case the AITA sticks to its strong stand against Olympic rebels Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna,” adds the report.

Meanwhile Hindustan Times reports that in the absence of senior players, the responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of four youngsters, one of whom will make his debut at the CLTA Stadium hardcourts. “Vishnu Vardhan, fresh from his London Olympics campaign with Leander Paes, has been given the role of the second singles specialist. The 25-year-old, who debuted against Japan last year, is quite aware of the enormous task ahead,” says the report.

"I'm thankful of the trust the team has placed in me and I hope to give it my best shot," Vardhan said after the draw ceremony. After the first day, provided he's not stretched to five sets, Vardhan will team up with 'doubles specialist' Divij Sharan on Saturday. The Delhi lad has won two Challengers in doubles this season and also achieved his highest doubles ranking of 94 this week.

Meanwhile Indian Express writes that it will be disappointment for local fans as Chandigarh lad Sanam Singh will get to play only in the reverse singles rubber in the Davis Cup tie starting Friday. The draw, which was declared on Thursday, will see Yuki Bhambri playing the first rubber of the match before Vishnu Vardhan plays the second match of the opening day. The doubles match will be held on Saturday before the reverse singles matches on Sunday.