India relegated to Group II after Davis Cup loss

India relegated to Group II after Davis Cup loss

India were relegated to Group II in Asia/Oceania after Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna were stunned by Murad Inoyatov and Denis Istomin in the doubles event of their Davis Cup tennis encounter here Saturday.

The Uzbek team with this victory took an unassailable 3-0.

Going into the tie, the vastly experienced Paes and Bopanna, both top 10 doubles players, were touted as the favourites. But the Uzbek pair playing at home got the better of the Indians to win 7-6(4), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 at the Pahlavon Sport Complex.

Earlier, debutant Sanam Singh and Yuki Bhambri lost to World No.43 Denis Istomin and Farrukh Dustov, respectively, in their singles ties Friday.

Sunday's reverse singles will be a dead rubber as Bhambri faces Istomin in the fourth singles. The only time the two met in Miami 2010, Istomin emerged the winner. Asian Games gold medallist Sanam will take on Dustov in the other match.

India have finished runner-up on three occasions, in 1966, 1974 and 1987, but are yet to lift the trophy.