India have beaten Uzbekistan in Round 2 of the Group 1 Asia/Oceania Zone Davis Cup tie after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in Bangalore on Saturday. Rohan Bopanna and Sriram Balaji beat Farrukh Dustov and Sanjar Fayziev 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 in just about 80 minutes. It may be a surprising result for the Indian squad which was light on experience. In fact the biggest talking point ahead of the tie was the omission of Leander Paes.
Non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi chose Rohan Bopanna over Leander Paes despite the latter winning a Challenger title in Mexico only a few days back.
Earlier, on Friday, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran handed India a 2-0 lead over Uzbekistan as they staved off a spirited challenge from the Uzbeks in their respective singles matches on the opening day of the tie. Also Read-Leander Paes dropped from India’s Davis Cup squad
In the first singles, 267th ranked Ramkumar Ramanathan overcame Temur Isamilov 6-2 5-7 6-2 7-5, while debutant Prajnesh Gunneswaran, ranked 187, outwitted Sanjar Fayzieb 7-5 3-6 6-3 6-4.
Asked about Day 1’s results, Mahesh Bhupathi said both the singles players did exceedingly well despite losing Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni to injuries.
“Ram, a grinder as he is, found his way through and brought us a victory, which was much needed for him, as he was lying low for quite some time,” he said.
So it makes Sunday’s reverse singles matches insignificant, at least in terms of impact on the overall result of the tie which is a pretty comfortable victory for India. (With inputs from PTI)