COVID upsets tennis calendar, India's Davis Cup and Fed Cup ties now in 2021

While India was supposed to travel to Finland for their Davis Cup tie in September, the Fed Cup finals were scheduled in April in Budapest.

By Subhayan Dutta

India’s Davis Cup tie against Finland, which was scheduled to take place later this year, has been postponed to next year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After being upstaged 3-1 by Croatia in the Davis Cup qualifiers, India were supposed to travel to Finland for the World Group I tie in September this year.

However, now with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) pushing back all tournaments, the Indian tennis team will play the tie either in March or September 2021.

The Zeeshan Ali-coached Indian side was the favourite against Finland, whose best player is 101-ranked Emil Ruusuvuori with the rest ranked below 400.

The Indian coach said that the decision to postpone the Davis Cup was a sensible one.

“There is uncertainty regarding international travel. Given the circumstances, it is on expected lines,” Zeeshan Ali told Press Trust of India.

Indian eves to wait for Fed Cup

India’s women tennis team, led by Sania Mirza, created history earlier this year when they reached the Fed Cup playoffs for the first time.

Playing in Group I of the Asia/Oceanic Zone, India was clubbed with China, Uzbekistan, Korea Republic, Chinese Taipei and Indonesia.

Buoyed by impressive performances of Ankita Raina and Sania Mirza, India managed to finish second in the group after China.

The Indian team was supposed to play the Fed Cup finals from April 13-18 in Budapest before it was deferred. And the ITF has now announced that it will be played in April next year.

COVID-19 ruffles tennis calendar

The international tennis body took the decision days after four leading tennis players, including world no. 1 Novak Djokovic, tested positive for coronavirus.

Not only the Davis Cup and Fed Cup, but the COVID-19 outbreak has also stopped the ATP and WTA tours with Wimbledon getting cancelled for the first time since World War II.  

"The decision to postpone the event comes following a three-month review of the considerable logistical and regulatory challenges that have arisen as a result of the pandemic and all potential hosting scenarios with the health and safety of all involved of paramount importance," ITF’s statement read.