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Somdev, Bopanna lead India to World Group

sports Updated: Sep 19, 2010 16:43 IST
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In a stunning turnaround, Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna powered India to the elite Davis Cup World Group by scripting a sensational 3-2 win over Brazil in the play-off tie here today.

Making amends for their opening-day defeats, Somdev and Bopanna downed their higher-ranked rivals in a do-or-die situation and led India to its first ever win in a Davis Cup tie from a 0-2 deficit.

Sweden has the most 0-2 comeback wins in the Davis Cup history with five victories and only once a team has won a final from 0-2 scoreline when Australia defeated USA in 1939.

A dominant Somdev led 7-6 (3) 4-0 before world number 27 Thomaz Bellucci conceded the first revesre singles, failing to negotiate hot and humid conditions and thus allowing India to level the tie 2-2.

The 479th-ranked Bopanna then came out firing on all cylinders to beat 75th-ranked Ricardo Mello 6-3 7-6(2) 6-3 in the fifth rubber to complete an amazing come-from-behind win.

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi had brought India back in the tie by beating Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares in the doubles rubber, yesterday.

With their win, Lee-Hesh had take their unbeaten streak in Davis Cup to 24, the most by any doubles team in the world.

India's decision to host the tie on hard courts under trying weather conditions paid as it played an important part in turning tide in favour if India on the final day.

India were forced into the play-offs after losing to Russia 2-3 in the World Group first round in Moscow in March.

Brazil now have lost five consecutive play-off ties since 2006.