Davis Cup: Ramkumar Ramanathan Beats Temur Isamilov to Give India 1-0 Lead Against Uzbekistan
Ranked 267, Ramkumar eked out a 6-2 5-7 6-2 7-5 win over the Uzbek, who is ranked 406, in the opening singles rubber of the second round tie.
Ramkumar Ramanathan. (Getty Images)
Bengaluru: Ramkumar Ramanathan overcame a spirited challenge from Temur Isamilov to hand India a 1-0 lead against Uzbekistan in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie here on Friday.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran, ranked 287, makes his India debut against Sanjar Fayziev (376).
To his credit, Ismailov made life difficult for the Indian despite suffering cramps in his right hamstring.
Ramkumar dominated the proceedings before a bout of double faults handed Ismailov a small opening, which the Uzbek garbbed with both hands to make a match of it.
The Uzbek played freely while Ramkumar put himself under pressure to finish the job quickly. The nerves got to Ramkumar and, in utter desperation, he squandered four set points and was eventually broken in the 12th game.
The Uzbek had snatched the momentum but suffered cramps in his right leg in the third set, making the job of the Indian easy. Ramkumar ran away with the third set as Ismailov's restricted movements gave him easy points.
Isnailov, though, recovered remarkably after a medical timeout and was battle ready for the fourth set. Ramkumar was always catching up with the Uzbek, holding his serves without fuss, and soon it was 5-5.
Ramkumar's unforced errors continued as twice he sent down double faults on match points. He though sealed the match with a forehand volley winner.
The winner of the tie will qualify for the World Group play-offs, to be played in September.
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