India had a fabulous Day 1 against New Zealand in their Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group 1 tie at Pune’s Balewadi Sports Complex. First Yuki Bhambri beat New Zealand’s No. 1 player Finn Tearney 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, then Ramkumar Ramanathan defeated Jose Statham 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in the second game. India lead New Zealand 2-0. In the doubles rubber, Leander Paes and Vishnu Vardhan will play for India on Saturday. Get highlights of India vs New Zealand Davis Cup Day 1 here.
7:46 pm IST: India lead New Zealand 2-0 in their Asia/Oceania Group 1 tie at the end of the first day here at Pune
7:45 pm IST: AND ITS OVER, with couple of superb returns and a brilliant forehand winner Ramkumar seals the set 6-3. He won 6-3,6-4,6-3.
7:43 pm IST: Three powerful serves by Ramkumar, the biggest of them clocking 209kmph on the radar helps him hold serve. Leads 5-3 now. Statham serving to stay in the match
7:38 pm IST: Statham holds his serve as Ramkumar leads 4-3.
7:34 pm IST: With powerful serves interspersed with some wayward ones, Ramkumar held his serve to go up 4-2 in third set
7:31 pm IST: BROKEN!! Ramkumar capitalises on unforced errors by Statham to break the New Zealand player’s service and take 3-2 lead in third set.
7:28 pm IST: Ramkumar holds his serve easily to make it 2-2
7:22 pm IST: Statham holds his serve without much trouble. He leads 2-1 with Ramkumar set to serve in the fourth game of third set
7:18 pm IST: Brilliant retrieving by Ramkumar after Statham makes couple of good returns. Statham makes it 40-40 but Ramkumar holds his serve in the second game of third set despite the pressure created by his opponent. 1-1 in third set
7:12 pm IST: With a superb forehand winner, Ramkumar made it 15-15 in the first game of the third set. But Statham made two good serves followed by an unforced error. He finally managed to hold serve after wasting four game points. Statham leads 1-0 in third set, Ram 2 sets to zero up
7:05 pm IST: With Ramkumar establishing a comfortable lead by winning the first two sets 6-3, 6-4, he too looks poised for a straight sets win. Earlier, Yuki Bhambri had defeated Finn Tearney 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the first rubber
7:04 pm IST: Statham’s wide return nearly hits the chair umpire while on the next serve, Ramkumar loses his racquet. He wins the next two points of this eventful game to seal the second set with an ace. 6-4, Ramkumar wins second set, leads two sets to love
7:00 pm IST: Statham holds his serve easily in 9th game. Ramkumar leads 5-4 and will now serve in an attempt to win the second set
6:57 pm IST: A powerful serve by Ramkumar followed by a good approach shot forced an error out of Statham in the first point in eighth game. Statham won the next two points but hit a shot long to give Ramkumar a chance. The Indian sealed the game with an ace to lead 5-3 in second set.
6:52 pm IST: Statham makes three unforced errors as Ramkumar puts his service under pressure to earn a break point. Statham saves it . However, Ramkumar recovers to win a long rally and gets the deserved break when Statham served a double fault. Ram leads 4-3 in second set.
6:46 pm IST: Ramkumar starts the sixth game of second set with a decent serve. Statham hits a nice drop shot but Ramkumar is up to it and retrieves it brilliantly. The Indian goes on to make it 3-3 by holding his serve
6:43 pm IST: Ramkumar get to 30-0 lead but Statham wins the next two points. He goes on to win two more points on his serve and make it 3-2 in second set.
6:40 pm IST: Ramkumar serves a double fault as Statham goes 40-0 up. Ramkumar saves all three breakpoints. A superb serve followed by an equally good volley had captain Anand Amritraj jumping up from his chair and applauding as it goes to game point. Statham saves that but Ramkumar seals it with a powerful ace to make it 2-2 in second set
6:32 pm IST: Statham serves powerfully to win the third game, leads 2-1 in second set
6:30 pm IST: Ramkumar’s serve comes under bit of pressure from Statham but he survives to make it 1-1
6:26 pm IST: Statham serves well to win the first game of second set.
6:21 pm IST: Ramkumar races to 40-0 lead with strong serves. Statham saves one set point converts the next with an ace. Ramkumar wins first set 6-3.
6:18 pm IST: With an ace and couple of good rallies, Statham holds his service to make it 5-3 in first set. Ramkumar to serve to win first set.
6:16 pm IST: Ramkumar starts the seventh game of first set with a good serve and follows it with a nice overhead after opening up the point with a great backhand. Win game for 5-2 lead.
6:12 pm IST: Statham holds serve to make it 4-2.
6:09 pm IST: Ramkumar hits couple of good shots and an ace to hold serve with a good volley. Leads 4-1 in first set.
6:07 pm IST: Statham broken. With a brilliant forehand winner, Ramkumar seals the break of serve in fourth game of first set. Leads 3-1. A nice close game but Ramkumar proves too good for his rival.
6:01 pm IST: Ramkumar served well and approached the net for a good volley winner. He followed it up with an ace to eventually seal the game with another ace. Leads 2-1 in first set.
5:58 pm IST: Ramkumar won the toss and decided to serve. 1-0 to Ramkumar in first set as he holds serve comfortably. Jose Statham too holds his serve easily to make it 1-1.
5:30 pm IST: Next up is India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan vs New Zealand’s Jose Statham. Ramkumar is 276 in the world. Statham has a ranking of 597.
5:20 pm IST: A brilliant backhand return by Yuki Bhambri followed by couple of wide shots by Tearney gave the Indian a set point. He converts it to win the third set 6-3. Wins the rubber 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to give India 1-0 lead in the tie.
5:17 pm IST: Bhambri started the eighth game of third set with a brilliant winner. He followed that up by a superb backhand winner and a well-placed serve to win the game and take 5-3 lead.
5:12 pm IST: Tearney hits an ace after an unforced error by Bhambri and goes on to hold serve. Bhambri leads 4-3 in third set. This match has been played over two hours now.
5:10 pm IST: Yuki Bhambri retrieves well as he moves to the net and Tearney’s shot clips the net. His fine sliced return sets him for a good drop shot. Goes on to hold his serve and lead 4-2 in third set.
5:08 pm IST: BROKEN Bhambri gets early break again as he opens up a 3-2 lead. Nice game by Bhambri as he continues to hit superb groundstrokes.
5:05 pm IST: Yuki Bhambri wins fourth game as players hold serve . Score 2-2 in third set.
5:00 pm IST: Two superb backhand shots followed by a nice forehand leaves Tearney scrambling as Bhambri take 0-40 lead. Tearney saves all three break points and goes on to hold serve. Leads 2-1 in third set.
4:56 pm IST: Yuki Bhambri holds service aided by couple of unforced errors by Tearney. 1-1 in third set.
4:42 pm IST: Tearney serves an ace on his first serve in third set and also hits a superb backhand winner to win first game of third set. Yuki Bhambri leads 6-4, 6-4.
4:46 pm IST: Bhambri thought he had served an ace but it is called out. He double faults and TFinn earney attacks his serve and hits a good return to make it 15-40. Bhambri saves three break points with good serves. Wins second set 6-4 for a two sets to love lead. Live score continues here.
4:43 pm IST: Tearney holds serve to make 5-4. Bhambri to serve for the second set.
4:40 pm IST: Bhambri hits a brilliant backhand down the line and served well to hold and make it 5-3. The Kiwis are unhappy when a linesman makes a call for out corrects himself immediately.
4:34 pm IST: Tearney holds serve after a long game in which he saved couple of break points. Bhambri put him under lot of pressure with some good return of serves. Score 4-3 in second set. Bhambri to serve.
4:26 pm IST: 4-2 in favour of Bhambri as he holds serve. Coasting towards victory in second set.
4:25 pmIST: Broken. Bhambri leads 3-2 in second set.
4:19 pm IST: Bhambri serves an ace and a double fault but holds serve to make it 2-2 in the second set. Bhambri won the first set 6-4.
4:14 pm IST: BROKEN. Yuvi Bhambri makes it1-2 by breaking back immediately. Tearney served a double fault and also made two unforced errors.
4:10 pm IST: BROKEN. Yuki Bhambri loses serve in second game of second set, 2-0 for Tearney.
4:07 pm IST: Tearney holds serve in first game of second set. He had 40-0 lead but Yuki Bhambri made it 40-40 and also had a break point. The Kiwi held his nerves to hold serve.
3:38 pm IST: Yuki Bhambri takes the first set 6-4. Holds serve despite a double fault. Both players started tentatively but the Indian settled down earlier than his opponent. Yuki Bhambri played some good shots off both forehand and backhand. Tearney failed to make the most of the 3-1 advantage. Live coverage continues here.
3:57 pm IST: Tearney changes his racquet after an unforced error as Yuki Bhambri serves for the first set.
3:55 pm IST: Tearney holds service, Bhambri leads 5-4. The Indian fought back from 0-40 to make it 40-40 but the Kiwi survives.
3:49 pm IST: Yuki Bhambri serves his first ace and serves well to hold serve, leads 5-3.
3:47 pm IST: BROKEN! Tearney loses serve as Yuki Bhambri makes some good returns. Leads 4-3 .
3:42 pm IST: Yuki Bhambri holds serve 3-3 now. The Indian did not give his rival much chances in this game.
3:39 pm IST: Yuki Bhambri breaks to make it 2-3. He is slowly getting into groove, played couple of good forehands in this game
3:36 pm IST: BROKEN: Bhambri loses serve and down 1-3. Tearney showed good skills to put pressure on his opponent, forcing errors.
3:31 pm IST: Tearney holds serve finally -- 2-1 for him. He was under pressure at 0-30 down and also saved a break point to finally win the game.
3:25 pm IST: BROKEN: Finn Tearney breaks back immediately. Yuki Bhambri had a game point but TFinn earney attacked his serve and forced errors. 1-1 in first set.
3:20 pm IST: BROKEN, Yuki Bhambri wins the first game with a nice forehand that forced an error from Finn Tearney. 1-0 for India. Live tennis score continues here.
3:18 pm IST: Yuki Bhambri won the toss and decided to receive serve.
3:12 pm IST: Yuki Bhambri and Finn Tearney are warming up -- two minutes to go for the start of the match.
3:01 pm IST: Team India introduced now: Captain Anand Amritraj, Yuki Bhambri Ramkumar Ramanathan, Vishnu Vardhan and Leander Paes.
2:59 pm IST: The players are on the court -- first up is the New Zealand team followed by the match officials. Team India makes its way to the court to a loud cheer. Team New Zealand: Finn Tearney, Jose Statham, Artim Sitak and Michael Venus.
2:58 pm IST: Yuki Bhambri played against New Zealand in Asia/Oceania Group in 2015 at Christchurch. India won that match 3-2.
2:54 pm IST: Yuki Bhambri’s last Davis Cup outing was also against Czech Republic in World Group Playoffs in 2015 at New Delhi. He lost both his matches as India lost 1-3 to Czech Republic.
2:24 pm IST: India lost to 5-0 to Spain in the World Group Playoffs in New Delhi in September 2016
2:43 pm IST: Yuki Bhambri is the more experienced than Finn Tearney, having played 15 Davis Cup matches (rubbers). He has a win/loss record of 10-5.
2:35 pm IST: Not much crowd in the stadium as of now, maybe because of the early afternoon start on a weekday. More should be coming in as the match progresses
2:32 pm IST: In eight previous encounters, India have won five and New Zealand three. The ITF officials are getting things ready for the match. The ball boys are already lined up, waiting for match officials and the players.
2:30 pm IST: India and New Zealand get ready for action. This is the ninth encounter between India and New Zealand in Davis Cup. Follow live score and live updates here.
Yuki Bhambri will start India’s campaign in their Davis Cup tie vs New Zealand. Bhambri, who plays New Zealand No. 1 player Finn Tearney, had missed the last two ties because of an injury.
The Delhi youngster is ranked 368 in singles while Tearney is at 414. Bhambri had recently played in New Zealand and got the better of top local players, so the feeling in the Indian camp is that he should prevail with a lot left in the tank.
In the second singles today, Ramkumar Ramanathan plays Jose Statham and enjoys a ranking advantage of 141 over his rival. But Statham is their most experienced player in Davis Cup and capable of causing an upset unless Ramkumar is at his best.
Considering the home conditions and ranking advantage of their singles players, India should be leading 2-0 at the end of the day.
But in Davis Cup players usually punch above their weight and the Indians have to be careful. While India had a tumultuous buildup to the tie, New Zealand players went quietly about gearing up for the tie.