A three-member International Tennis Federation security team led by Stephen Schad visited the SDAT stadium in Chennai on Tuesday to look into the security issues raised by Tennis Australia. The ITF team also met police and government officials who apparently assured complete support from the state authorities. Information coming from those who accompanied the team suggests that the May 8-10 tie is likely to get the green signal.
“The experts thoroughly checked the facility and will send their report to ITF on Tuesday,” said Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) organising secretary, Hiten Joshi. “I took them around while they prepared their report. They will have a few more meetings on Wednesday.”
As part of the elaborate security arrangements for the high-profile tie, the players will be provided blanket security at the stadium and the official hotel — The Park. The route from the hotel to the stadium will also be completely sanitised.
The TNTA, keen to host the contest, has volunteered the stadium free of cost for the tie. Though Chennai hosts the season-opening ATP event every year in January, it is the first time since 1979 that the southern city will play host to Davis Cup.
AITA secretary Anil Khanna, who had a meeting with ITF board members in Amsterdam a few days ago, is scheduled to fly to Chennai late on Tuesday and address the media on Wednesday. He will also look to address any concerns that the team may raise.
Meanwhile, the ITF said it would assess the report and get back to the two participating nations by the end of this week.
“It is a process. As a part of our responsibility we have to look into all this,” ITF Communications Officer Nick Imison told HT. “We will take a decision as soon as possible as the preparations for the tie have to start. The tie is still scheduled to take place and for now it is scheduled to take place in Chennai,”
Following the Lahore attacks on March 6 and the rescheduling of the Indian Premier League, Tennis Australia had written to the ITF requesting them to move the tie to Australia. Their leading player, Lleyton Hewitt, had also expressed apprehensions over visiting India.