Fayziev strikes a note of courage

Fayziev strikes a note of courage
Uzbekistan’s Sanjar Fayziev lost the second singles rubber to India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran in their Davis Cup contest on Friday but it was a performance laced with plenty of courage.

Battling arrhythmia — a condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm — the rail-thin Fayziev saw all his good work evaporate, leaving him and his camp a shattered lot at the KSLTA courts.

Undone by the brilliance of Prajnesh in the opening set, the 22-year-old Fayziev fought back brilliantly in a high-tempo match to win the second and even take a 3-1 lead in the third before his medical condition played a big role in bringing about his downfall.

Struggling, he went across to his bench and bent over to regain his breath. After a couple of minutes off, he resumed playing much to the surprise of many at the stadium. But with his body failing to respond to his calling, he lost five games on the trot to surrender the third set. He took a medical time-out at the conclusion of the set but couldn't muster enough power to post a victory.

“I have a pre-existing condition arrhythmia,” a downcast Fayziev, whose face was flushed red, said at the post-match press conference. “I was not able to breathe properly for a few minutes in the third set. It has happened two to three times in my career.”

Despite the condition being extremely serious and even life-threatening, Fayziev said he has not thought about quitting tennis.

“I like tennis and I want to fight it. I was doing my best to finish the match. I will wait till tomorrow to see if I can play the doubles match. When I go back to Tashkent, I will pay more attention to it.”

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