India has been knocked out after a close encounter against seasoned campaigners Czech Republic in this year’s Davis Cup play-offs. The fourth rubber played between Yuki Bhambri and Jiri Vesely did not end well for the top ranked Indian singles player.
Yuki Bhambri fails to trouble Jiri Vesely
The opening set of the fourth rubber between India and Czech Republic started with some prolonged battles and one hoped to see Yuki emulate his colleague Somdev in keeping the Czech player engaged in long rallies. However the errors flowed as freely for the Indian as the beautiful forehand (12 unforced errors in the first six games) and it was the Czech world no. 40 Jiri Vesely, who cantered to an easy 6-3 first set in 42 minutes.
The second set saw the Indian put up some resistance. However, Jiri Vesely’s vast experience and strong serving came to the fore, triumphing over Bhambri’s attempts. The third set saw Yuki tiring a bit and with that ended India’s hopes of advancing to the world group.
Jiri Vesely won the fourth rubber in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 and 6-2 to oust the Indian team from a place in the Davis Cup World group. India has come close for the last two years but probably needs some heavier lifting by the singles player and more reliable service from our doubles pair to surmount the final challenge
Somdev to play dead rubber against Rosol
Though Somdev Devvarman, the only Indian to have recorded a victory over Czech Republic, put up his best tennis of the season, he fell short. However, the fifth rubber between Somdev and Lukas Rosol could be a crucial one for the Indian. A win here could help the 30-years-old regain confidence ahead of his next campaign in the ATP circuit, though as far as the tie is concerned this match would be a mere formality.