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Davis Cup: India trail 0-2 against hosts China after Day 1

Davis Cup: India trail 0-2 against hosts China after Day 1
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By

Anjali Banerjee

Published: 7 April 2018 3:40 AM GMT
Amidst extreme harsh weather in Tianjin, India began their Davis Cup campaign today against China in the Group stage of the Asia/Oceania I second round losing both the Singles Rubbers to go down 0-2 against the hosts. Both Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal faced straight sets defeats in the singles matches. India, who has a strong 3-0 head to head against China was expected to ride on the momentum. But given an utter dismal show from both Ramkumar and Nagal, the hopes of a smashing start faced a beating for the nation. The absence of India's No. 1 Yuki Bhambri, who is nursing an abdominal injury was conspicuous. The Davis Cupper Bhambri after having a brilliant few months on the ATP tour was forced to withdraw, leaving all hopes on India's second best singles player Ramkumar Ramanathan. The World No. 132 from Chennai was subdued by China's rising star Wu Yibing.
The 18-year-old Yibing needed an hour and forty minutes to oust the Indian 7-6(4) 6-4.
Although ranked 332 on the ATP rankings, Yibing played with sheer aggression and dominance. After broken in the first game of the match, The Junior Slam champ gathered himself to break back and take the first set in a tie breaker. Ramkumar thundered down 9 aces as compared to 3 from Yibing but 4 double faults added to the woes. A meagre 33% of break point conversion also proved detrimental for the the Indian. Yibing was absolutely brilliant on serves with a 93% second serve points won and 72% first serves. The former Junior World no 1 glided through the second set with ease registering a 7-6(4) 6-4 score on the board.
In the second Rubber, World No 247 Ze Zhang needed just an hour and 7 minutes to take out the World no 213 Sumit Nagal in straight sets.
The Indian was forced into submission 4-6 1-6 by the Chinese and it was a washout for India in the Round two of the tie. Zhang converted 5 out of 7 chances to break the Indian's serve while Nagal could break the opponents serve only twice despite having 6 chances to do so. India's non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi described the opening day as "shocking". "It was disappointing display by both. No hunger, no fight and no aggression," Bhupathi told PTI. Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna will now have an uphill task at hand in the third rubber against Mao-Xin Gong and Di Wu on Saturday.to keep alive their hopes. If they win, Paes will become the most successful doubles player in the history of Davis Cup. He is tied on 42 wins with Italian great Nicola Pietrangeli. The last time India lost a tie at the Asia/Oceania level was in February 2013 against South Korea.
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