It was a do-or-die situation for India when Somdev stepped on the court and the country’s numero uno singles player ensured that India remained in the hunt.
India had advanced to the World Group Play-offs previous year as well only to lose 2-3 to Serbia in September. Just like the first set, Yuki once again won more number of winners in 31 as compared to Venus’s 22.
Michael Venus plays a backhand return during his straight sets defeat to India’s Yuki Bhambri at Wilding Park.
With the win, India have moved into the world group play-offs, while New Zealand will stay in the Asia Oceania zone in 2016.
Daniell replaced his teammate Rubin Statham who has been suffering from influenza.
The fortunes changed dramatically for India as Somdev, who came into The tie after winning a Challenger title in US, was firmly in control before losing his way.
In the final match of the day which had everything riding on it Venus faced his good friend Bhambri and straight away it became apparent it was going to be tough as the Kiwi had his serve broken in the first game.
With the set tied at 4-4 in the third set, it was vital for Daniell to hold his serve if he was to keep the rubber alive. But Somdev found a way to get that elusive break in the ninth and converted his first set point in the next for a 2-0 lead in the crucial rubber. The Kiwi was down by two break points at the start of the third set but saved both.
“We had two break points and that s not saying much”.
Devvarman though let slip the advantage by dropping his own serve in the next before cashing in on another chance in the ninth. It was a matter of holding serve in the next which he did to level the tie 2-2.
Devvarman lost the opening singles 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 1-6 against low ranked Michael Venus in a match that lasted for three hours and 13 minutes.