Amritraj lashes out at Somdev

India’s Davis Cup captain Anand Amritraj on Friday said it was difficult to change Somdev Devvarman’s defensive approach towards his game as the country’s number one singles player struggled to close out his match against Ti Chen despite earning four match points.

The second singles of the Davis Cup tie was stretched to the second day as bad light forced suspension of play when the two players were locked 7-7 in the deciding fifth set.

“It’s a bit difficult for him to get out of that mindset,” Amritraj said when asked if Somdev played too defensively during his encounter.

“He can grind but it’s not possible against a guy who is going for broke. I told him to hit hard but he was just pushing the ball around. I don’t think he will sleep well,” the 61-year-old added.

Impressed by Chen

Amritraj said he was “very impressed” with the way Chen played and admitted they underestimated the Chinese Taipei player.

“He (Chen) played very confidently. He was volleying superbly. We are lucky that we are still in and unlucky that we are not 2-0 up,” he said.

Yuki Bhambri, who handed India 1-0 lead by beating Tsung Hua Yang, clarified that he suffered only cramps and “nothing was serious”.

He added the conditions suited him and that was the key to his success. “I had got used to the bounce and perhaps he did not. It (ball) was coming to my shoulder and I was comfortable. The conditions were good, suited me more.”

Yuki praise for Yang

Yuki praised Yang despite the fact the Taipei player could not take advantage when he was struggling with cramps. “He played well. It’s not easy when you play against a player, who is not 100 per cent fit. It becomes different as you don’t know what is expected of the injured player.”

Yang said the Indian had the advantage of playing at home.

There were a few calls which the Chinese Taipei team did not like but their captain Liu Tai Wei said: “We have no control over those things and we could only fight on court. I am happy with my players.”

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