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Devvarman, Bhambri wins help India beat New Zealand in Davis Cup

India's Somdev Devvarman beat Marcus Daniell of New Zealand 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to level India's Asia Oceania Davis Cup Group I tie against New Zealand 2-2 and send it to a deciding fifth rubber.

sports Updated: Jul 02, 2016 19:44 IST
Somdev Devvarman,Marcus Daniell,Davis Cup
The victorious Indian Davis Cup team celebrates their 3-2 win over New Zealand in the Asia Oceania Group I tie, at Christchurch, New Zealand, on July 19, 2015. Second from left are players Somdev Devvarman, Rohan Bopanna, Yuki Bhambri, and team captain Anand Amritraj. (PTI Photo)

India's Yuki Bhambri recorded his first ever victory in a live fifth rubber of the Davis Cup, beating New Zealand's Michael Venus in straight sets in the second reverse singles match on Sunday to send India to the World Group Play-offs.

After Somdev Devvarman levelled the tie with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over Kiwi Marcus Daniell in the first of the reverse singles, India advanced with a 3-2 win over New Zealand in the Asia/Oceania Group I tie, thanks to Bhambri's authoritative 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 drubbing of Venus in the decider.

After the win, Devvarman posted the following video of the team's victory celebrations in the locker room.

It was a do-or-die situation for India when Devvarman stepped on the court and the country's numero uno singles player ensured that India remained in the hunt.

Bhambri, playing only his second live fifth rubber, came out all guns blazing against Venus, who had stunned Devvarman in the first match of the tie.

The 23-year-old Delhi lad turned out to be India's hero in this tie as he won both his matches. He had lost the deciding fifth rubber against Serbia's Filip Krajinovic in September in Bangalore last year.

Bhambri stamped his class and authority right from the start and did not face a single break point till the sixth game of the third set.

He asserted himself by breaking Venus twice in each of the first two sets, running away with a 2-0 lead.

It was in the third set that Venus threatened a bit when he had Bhambri down a break point in the sixth game but the Indian was up to the task and thwarted his rival's attempts.

Bhambri saved two more break points in the eighth game and finally converted his third match point to seal the tie for his side.

India will now strive to make the World Group when they compete in the Play-offs in September.

Earlier, Devvarman delivered when it mattered the most, taming Daniell in two hours and 18 minutes to keep India afloat in the tie. Daniell replaced Jose Statham, who was down with a flu, but could not help his side seal the tie.

Devvarman went about his business calmly and made a perfect start to his match when he broke Daniell in the very first game of the opening set. The advantage of that early break stayed with him throughout and he served out the set in the 10th game.

He thwarted Daniell's attempt of a comeback by saving a break chance on his serve in the sixth game. Daniell kept fighting hard, saving two break points in the third game of the second set, which went on serve till the eighth game.

But Devvarman found a way to get that elusive break in the ninth and converted his first set point in the next for a 2-0 lead in the crucial rubber.

The Kiwi was down by two break points at the start of the third set but saved both. However, he double-faulted when he was down by another break point in the fifth game.

Devvarman though let go of the advantage by dropping his own serve in the next game before cashing in on another chance in the ninth.

It was a matter of holding serve in the next which he did to level the tie 2-2.

First Published: Jul 19, 2015 11:53 IST