In a thrilling Davis Cup World Group I play-off tie, India asserted its dominance on the opening day, securing a 2-0 lead against Pakistan. The dynamic duo of Ramkumar Ramanathan and N Sriram Balaji displayed remarkable resilience and skill, rising to the occasion in a high-pressure contest that unfolded on Saturday.
The opening singles match saw a fired-up Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi giving his all, creating a tight battle on the court. However, the intensity of the match and challenging conditions took a toll on Qureshi, who suffered a hamstring injury in the third set. This unfortunate turn of events prevented a close finish to what promised to be a hard-fought contest.
Ramkumar Ramanathan showcased exceptional performance, particularly in his serve, which proved to be a crucial factor in the match’s outcome. Serving extremely well and returning effectively in the second set, Ramkumar prevailed with a scoreline of 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-0. Notably, the 43-year-old Aisam struggled with his serve, contributing to the match’s outcome by committing 10 double faults.
Ramkumar’s strength in serving and precise percentage tennis played a pivotal role, evident in his ability to win nine games at love, keeping the points short and crisp. Down by a set, he showcased his resilience by wriggling out of a tough situation when facing a 15-40 deficit in the eighth game of the second set. From there on, Ramkumar seized control and never looked back, firing an impressive 20 aces during the match.
The victory not only reflects the individual prowess of Ramkumar Ramanathan but also underscores the team’s collective determination. With India now holding a commanding 2-0 lead in the play-off tie, they are well-positioned for success as the competition unfolds. The stellar performance on the opening day sets an optimistic tone for the rest of the Davis Cup encounter, showcasing Indian tennis at its finest on the international stage.