Somdev Devvarman had to dig deep into his reservoir of experience to tame a fighting Hyeon Chung but Sanam Singh lost the second singles to Yong-Kyu Lim, leaving India and South Korea locked at 1-1 on day one of their second round Asia/Oceania Group I tie, here on Friday.
Somdev was severely tested by a player who was making his Davis Cup debut and ranked 289 places below him before prevailing 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3), 6-4 after three hours and thirty minutes of intense tennis on a medium-slw surface in the opening singles.
The 17-year old Korean, who had finished as a runner-up in the Wimbledon junior championship last year, showed that he was progressing well but ultimately fell short against a player who does not give up easily.
Chung had Somdev gasping in the marathon rubber as he led 4-1 and 5-2 in the first two sets but the Indian saved his side from major embarrassment with a stunning comeback.
Sanam, chosen ahead of tall and big-serving Saketh Myneni, though could not make it an all-win day for India as he lost 6-7 (5), 4-6, 4-6 to Korea’s number one player Lim in the second rubber, which lasted two hours and 45 minutes.
Sanam, who was originally drafted as a reserve along with Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, got the chance to play after Yuki Bhambri pulled out of the tie due to a foot injury.
Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka suffered a shock defeat to unheralded Kazakh Andrey Golubev in the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Friday.
The world number three Swiss was stunned 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5) by 64th ranked Golubev as Kazakhstan took an early 1-0 lead over the Swiss in Geneva.
The result, achieved in just under three and a quarter hours, revived bad memories for Wawrinka who lost both his matches — a singles and a doubles rubber — in a 5-0 whitewash victory for Kazakhstan over Switzerland in Astana in 2010.
In the second tie, Swiss ace Roger Federer beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to level scores.