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Rediff.com  » Sports » Davis Cup: Spain take 2-0 lead vs India in World Group play-offs

Davis Cup: Spain take 2-0 lead vs India in World Group play-offs

Last updated on: September 16, 2016 22:48 IST

Spain's David Ferrer in action against India's Saketh Myneni during their Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie in New Delhi on Friday

IMAGE: Spain's David Ferrer in action against India's Saketh Myneni during their Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie in New Delhi on Friday. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI

David Ferrer beat Saketh Myneni 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 to give Spain a 2-0 lead on the opening day of the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie in New Delhi on Friday.

A big serve, his biggest weapon, was nowhere to be seen as Myneni, who qualified for the US Open, melted the Spanish powerhouse.

Ferrer returned the ball like a machine, literally toying with the Indian, in a one-hour 27-minute encounter.

As Myneni struggled to cope with a super-fit Ferrer, he managed to take just four games in the match. He committed as many as 28 unforced errors to 11 of Ferrer.

The Spaniard won a total of 84 points to 46 of Myneni.

India's Saketh Myneni in action against Spain's David Ferrer

IMAGE: India's Saketh Myneni in action against Spain's David Ferrer. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI

Ferrer played with good intensity, sprinting with the first set in 21 minutes. An error-prone Myneni, whose game was littered with unforced errors, made the job of the Spaniard easy. Two double faults in the fourth game saw Myneni concede a break and soon he was trailing 1-4.

A blistering forehand by Ferrer meant that Myneni was again down a breakpoint in the sixth game. He saved the first but double-faulted on the second. The set was over in a jiffy.

Ferrer continued to dominate, getting a break in the first game of the second set as Myneni sent a backhand out. Ferrer zoomed to a 5-0 lead.

The Indian got one break back but Ferrer sealed the set in the eighth game.

It was the same story in the third set with Ferrer not conceding an inch.

 Spain's Feliciano Lopez in action aganist India's Ramkumar Ramanathan during the Davis Cup World Group play-off match in New Delhi on Friday

IMAGE: Spain's Feliciano Lopez in action aganist India's Ramkumar Ramanathan during the Davis Cup World Group play-off match in New Delhi on Friday. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI

Earlier, India lost the opening tie of the Davis Cup World Group play-off against Spain after Ramkumar Ramanathan lost to Spain's Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 on a hot evening in Delhi.

The young Indian was graceful in defeat against World No 26 Lopez in the match that lasted two hours and 26 minutes.

The 203-ranked Ramkumar, egged on by the capacity crowd, gave his all but it was not enough to worry his mighty opponent.

Lopez had replaced Rafael Nadal as the latter had to pull out of the match due to a stomach bug.

There was no doubt about the superiority of the left-handed Lopez as he controlled the proceedings with ease. Ramkumar did try to fight it out but the Spaniard always had the match in his iron grip.

Ramkumar lost a few points on his serve at the start of the match but a few unforced errors meant he was facing two breakpoints. He saved both but on the third, Lopez sealed the break with a passing winner.

The 21-year-old Indian saved another chance in the seventh game in which he double-faulted twice, while 30-0 up, but Lopez just needed to hold his serve and the Spaniard easily served out the set in the 10th game at love.

When Ramkumar smashed a volley out on breakpoint in the first game of the second set, he again handed Lopez the early advantage, which stayed with the Spaniard throughout.

Ramkumar never posed any danger to his superior rival, who soon pocketed the second set too.

The Indian put his heart and soul into the match in the third set. From the service hold in the third game, he managed to slot the ball exactly where he wanted, backed by his solid serve.

Ramkumar took a medical time-out during the third set, raising suspicion if he is buckling, but did something that brought the house down by breaking Lopez in the eighth game.

 India's Ramkumar Ramanathan celebrates a point against Feliciano Lopez 

IMAGE: India's Ramkumar Ramanathan celebrates a point against Feliciano Lopez. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI

Sudden unforced errors had Lopez down 15-40. He saved both but a lucky backhand slice that touched the net cord and dropped dead on Lopez's court gave the Indian a third breakpoint of the match.

Ramkumar seized the moment with a forehand winner, as Lopez watched the ball pass him.

The crowd was at its feet, with the applause lasting several seconds. Ramkumar served out the set in the next and won a small battle giving the fans much to celebrate.

Lopez though immediately snatched back the momentum by breaking Ramkumar in the second game of the fourth set, rushing to a 3-0 lead.

In no time, the fourth set ended after that break.

India need to win Sunday’s doubles match to keep the tie alive against the five-time world champions Spain.

"I knew it was a good match, he is a great fighter, I was expecting such a match. It is humid but we tried to hang in and gave my side the point," Lopez said.

"Guys thank you," Ramkumar said acknowledging the support he got from the fans.

"I was trying every point, giving my best. Unfortunately could not win. Feli (Lopez) played solid, lots of first serves in."

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