India trail 1-2 against New Zealand in Davis Cup

Christchurch, July 18 (IANS) India trailed 1-2 New Zealand in their Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Davis Cup Group I tie, after the doubles pair of Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myneni went down 3-6, 6-7(1), 3-6 against Artem Sitak and Marcus Daniell here on Saturday.

India went behind in the match early as Bopanna lost his serve in the sixth game to give the home team a 4-2 in the first set on the indoor hard courts of the Wilding Park Tennis Centre.

The gave the Kiwis momentum and they didn’t budge from their ascendancy. The Indian team though put up a fight in the second set, matching their opponents on the service games to stretch the proceedings to a tiebreaker.

But it all fell apart in the tiebreak as the Kiwis raced to a 7-1 win to bag the second set.

There was no respite for the Indians after surrendering the two sets as the Kiwis raced to a 3-0 in the third after breaking Myneni’s serve. It practically sealed the match in their favour with the Kiwis eventually winning the set 6-3 and the match.

India and New Zealand were level on 1-1 after the completion of the first two singles matches on Friday.

Somdev Devvarman lost the opening singles of the tie 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 1-6 against Michael Venus to hand the hosts a 1-0 lead. But Yuki Bhambri defeated Jose Statham 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 to square the contest.

India will have to win the remaining two reverse singles, scheduled for Sunday, with Somdev Devvarman taking on Jose Statham and Yuki Bhambri up against Michael Venus to advance to the World Group play-offs.

India lead 4-3 against New Zealand in head-to-head meetings, having won the last four contests between the two countries – the last one being in 2012.

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