Thursday, May 29, 2008
Rohan Bopanna provided the team with a dream start
New Delhi: Rohan Bopanna provided the team with a dream start, but Somdev Dev Varman its limits on the grass prevented India to dominate the opening day of proceedings against Uzbekistan in the Asia-Oceania Group I 'Davis Cup on equal grasscourts RK Khanna Stadium here on Friday.
A 1-1 start has been very well on the charts after grasscourt specialist Prakash Amritraj has been kept out of action on the opening day to help him regain enough strength - after a stomach upset -- The culmination, and it was natural that non - playing captain Leander Paes evaluation of the day as a "success, but not a great success."
On a dark day when a light drizzle delayed the start more than an hour, Bopanna served and volleyed with momentum in the race to a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Farrukh Dustov in a little more an hour. Although Bopanna dropped the first point on his service in his seventh game in what he regarded as one of the best matches he played, Uzbek, dominating all across the net is like a fish out of the water and do not have the temperament to cope with the situation.
To the great relief of Uzbekistan, Denis Istomin said his class as the champion of Asia, even as he presented debutant Dev Varman on the shortcomings of the unpredictable surface with a 6-3, 6-4, victory 6-2 in two hours.
The manifesto selection
Paes was all praise for Bopanna and said he would be the obvious choice for the most dual match Saturday with Mahesh Bhupathi, but it was also concerned about some Amritraj giving the impression of the court to make an ready for possible key match against Dustov in the fifth rubber.
"I will discuss the matter with Mahesh, Prakash and Rohan. Obviously, we will see Mahesh who is most at ease with reading," said Paes.
Bopanna said he was ready to play its best over the three days, as he began to love the surface.
"If I play the way I done today, there is no reason why I can not repeat the result in the first match on Sunday against Istomin," he said.
The Uzbek camp Istomin let all that talk and he regaled the media with his simple answer.
"I am very pleased that he is 1-1. Somdev played very well. His game is not for the grass, not that the grass is my favourite surface. We should play on clay, "said Istomin with a smile.
As pointed out Paes, Dev Varman had stops in many games - 13 of them in all to be precise, but he managed to convert one. It showed a lack of experience.
"He came with great service and we must give him credit," said Dev Varman.
"Everyone says that we have no chance in the doubles, but we will try to win the double," said Istomin, who also admitted that his team double combination would be decided only after discussion with the team.
Istomin Dustov warned that can play much better than it showed and it would be another player in the climax on the last day on which he plays the fifth rubber.
Results: 1 India vs Uzbekistan 1 (Rohan Bopanna bt Farrukh Dustov 6-3, 6-3, 6-1; Somdev Dev Varman lost to Denis Istomin 3-6, 4-6, 2-6).