In a week's time, India take on Uzbekistan in their Davis Cup tie at Namang. But the way things stand for the Indian players at the moment — at least the new faces — it would be safe to say too much shouldn't be expected.
On Thursday, two players who will be playing at the Davis Cup, Karan Rastogi and Vivek Shokeen, put on a lacklustre show in the quarterfinals of the ITF Men's Futures at the DLTA Courts in New Delhi on Thursday.
While third seeded Rastogi survived a scare from unseeded Korean IM Kyu-Tae 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3, Shokeen lost to fifth seed Hyun-Woo Nam 1-6, 6-4, 3-6.
Rastogi was made to fight for every point by Kyu-Tae, who is ranked 847 in the world, and in the end it was only Karan's mental toughness, which saw him through.
The first set was close and went in to a tiebreak. Rastogi's returns were inaccurate and were falling short. However, in the tiebreak Rastogi just managed to sneak past the Korean.
But Kyu-Tae fought back in the second to break Rastogi thrice. He executed some perfect forehand winners and drop volleys to clean out the set and set the match up nicely for a third set decider.
However, Rastogi finally got it right in the third as he broke him twice to take a 3-1 lead. The Indian won the set 6-3 to move into the last four, where he will face sixth seed Todor Enev.
Meanwhile, the only thing that went Shokeen's way was his serve. Throughout the match, he mistimed shots and lost crucial points to make it easy for Nam. The Korean’s big strokes and the ability to win long rallies powered him through to win the first set.
Shokeen did find some rhythm in the second to make it one set all. In the third, a cool Nam got some crucial breakthroughs to seal the match. Nam meets eighth seed Alexender Kudryavtsev in the semis.
Results (Quarterfinals): T Enev bt A Singh 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, H Nam bt V Shokeen 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, A Kudryatsev bt D Sharan 6-2, 6-2, K Rastogi bt K IM 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3.