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Home > Sports > Tennis > Report

Istomin draws Uzbekistan level

February 08, 2008 12:53 IST
Last Updated: February 08, 2008 15:42 IST



Rohan Bopanna

India and Uzbekistan shared honours after day one in the Asia-Oceania Group I Davis Cup tie in New Delhi, as the number one players from both teams lived up to their billing to score comfortable victories on a gloomy Friday afternoon.

Rohan Bopanna thumped Farrukh Dustov 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in the opening singles before Denis Istomin returned the favour with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over debutant Somdev Dev Varman to draw Uzbekistan level at 1-1.

Though Bopanna and Istomin made it look easy, all the players struggled to read the bounce and pace of the uneven grass surface.

Though Somdev, picked ahead of Prakash Amritraj, fought hard in his first match for India, Istomin, ranked more than 600 places above him, proved too good for the youngster. The Uzbek No 1 kept his cool on the big points and moved Somdev from side to side while constantly closing on the net.

Earlier, Bopanna used his booming first serve to good effect, sending four aces in the first set as he went 4-2 up.

Such was the dominance of the 27-year-old from Coorg that he did not concede a single point on his serve in the opening set.

The second set followed a similar script, and with Dustov's unforced errors mounting, Bopanna had no trouble breaking the Uzbek with a brilliant lob in the fifth game.

Mahesh Bhupathi [Images] and Amritraj will team up against the Uzbek duo in the doubles rubber on Saturday.





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