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Amritraj brings India back at 1-1

Prakash helped India end the opening day on level terms (1-1) after Bopanna went down tamely to Aisam Quereshi.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 21:07 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Prakash Amritraj bounced back splendidly to turn the tables on Pakistan's Aqeel Khan in three sets and help India end the opening day of the Asia-Oceania Zone One Davis Cup play-off tie on level terms (1-1) after compatriot Rohan Bopanna went down tamely to Aisam Quereshi in the first singles here today.

India's number one player Amritraj displayed excellent fighting spirit to come back from 1-4 down in the first two sets against the baseline-hugging Pakistan number two Khan before raising his game up a notch in the third in sweltering conditions to record a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 victory 2 hours and fifty minutes.

Earlier, a pumped up Pakistan number one Qureshi outclassed Indian number two Bopanna, who dished out an insipid and error-prone display, in straight sets to give the visitors a flying start in the sixth-ever clash between the arch-rivals.

Qureshi, ranked number 416 in the world, subdued his doubles partner and friend on the Tour Bopanna, ranked 235, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-4 in two minutes under two hours in the opening singles.

Bopanna committed a whopping 19 double faults, some of them at crucial stages, to give the match on a platter to his big-serving Pakistani rival.

Tomorrow, the doubles encounter between India's famed combine of captain Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi against Jalil Khan and Asim Shafik would be held.

The reverse singles featuring Amritraj against Qureshi and Bopanna versus Aqeel Khan is scheduled for Sunday.

First Published: Apr 07, 2006 13:22 IST