Somdev puts India ahead in Davis Cup tie against SA

Somdev puts India ahead in Davis Cup tie against SA

Coming into the tie after his breakthrough performance at the US Open, the 133rd ranked Somdev played with maturity and took two hours and 10 minutes to dispatch his opponent at the Ellis park indoor arena.

Rohan Bopanna, India's number two in the tie, will now clash with South Africa's number one Rik De Voest, ranked 189 in the world, in the second singles. Somdev faced just one breakpoint and mostly played from the baseline. Merwe displayed an excellent serve and volley game but unforced errors dented his chances. Somdev took little time to settle as he struggled with his first serve and sprayed a lot of forehands long.

Merwe, ranked 289 in the ATP chart, on the other hand was confident in the start, played some big strokes and won brilliant points at net. No player got the break opportunity until eighth game of the opening set. Merwe set up the breakpoint with an overhead volley but Somdev came back well with strong serve to save. India got a break point in the next game but Somdev was unlucky as he fired a backhand, eyeing a cross court winner, but the ball landed on the net and jumped out of the court.

Without seeing a break, the first set stretched to the tie- breaker, which the Indian won to go 1-0 up. Merwe, who looked better player initially because of his exploits at the net, backed by a solid serve, succumbed to unforced errors in the tie-breaker. The South Afircan hit a forehand to net to give Somdev a 3-1 lead, which he later reduced to 4-6 and saved a set point too but his double fault at 5-6 sealed the set for India. Getting back his rhythm, Somdev curbed his unforced errors in the second set and broke Merwe in the sixth game to be in advantageous position.

A furious backhand, after four deuce points, earned Somdev his second breakpoint and with equally forceful double handed backhand he got that break for a 4-2 lead. Merwe started to wilt under pressure and handed two set points in the eighth game, thanks to some unforced errors. He saved both but could not stop Somdev from serving out the set. Already shaken in confidence, Merwe was facing two breakpoints in the very first game of the third set but managed to save both. However, pressure got the better of Merwe and he was broken at love in the fifth game at love when he double faulted. From there it was just a cakewalk for Somdev.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry