Sun, Feb 02, 2014 - Page 8 News List

India fight off a spirited challenge from Taiwan

AFP, INDORE, India

Taiwan’s Chen Ti returns to Somdev Devvarman of India in their Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I singles match at the Indore Tennis Club in Indore, India, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Hosts India fought off a spirited challenge from Taiwan to grab an unassailable 3-0 lead in their Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie in Indore, India, yesterday.

Somdev Devvarman wrapped up the marathon second singles against Taiwan’s Chen Ti that had been stopped due to bad light on Friday with the scores level at 7-7 in the fifth set.

Devvarman held his service game and then broke Chen in the next to win 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/3), 1-6, 6-2, 9-7 after an attritional battle that lasted more than four hours.

The world No. 103, who was expected to ease past world No. 284 Chen, had wasted four match points in the decider on Friday evening, but played aggressive tennis when it mattered to win.

“Five-setters are never easy, so it was nice to get out of this one,” Devvarman said. “I attacked and went after his serve today, which paid off in the end.”

India’s new doubles team of Rohan Bopanna and debutant Saketh Myneni were stretched by the Taiwanese pair of Lee Hsin-han and Peng Hsien-yin before winning 6-0, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) later yesterday.

Yuki Bhambri had given India the lead in Friday’s opening singles when he overcame an ankle injury in the third set to beat Yang Tsung-hua 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (1/7), 6-3.

India were without two long-time regulars after Leander Paes opted out and Mahesh Bhupathi was dropped.

India next play South Korea in April for a place in the World Group playoffs.

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