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09-19-2010, 11:16 PM #1
Davis Cup: India beat Brazil 3-2, enter World GroupChennai: India completed a magnificent and historic comeback to beat Brazil 3-2 to remain in the Davis Cup World Group by winning both the reverse singles here on Sunday.
In the first reverse singles, Somdev Devvarman, leading 7-6 (3), 4-0, benefitted when Thomaz Bellucci conceded after falling ill and then Rohan Bopanna tamed Ricardo Mello 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3, to clinch the tie for India.
The oppressive heat and humidity finally got to the Brazilians, who were sitting pretty at 2-0 after winning the opening singles on Friday, but lost the doubles to the top Indian combination of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathy on Saturday.
It was the first time that India have come back from a 0-2 deficit to clinch a tie and much of the credit should go to the Paes-Bhupathi tandem that won their 24th consecutive Davis Cup doubles tie.
"We are back to where we belong," was how Bhupathi put the victory in perspective. "To come back after losing both matches on the first day is fantastic."
When the 30-year old Bopanna, ranked 479, won the final point of the two-hour match against the higher ranked Mello, it triggered huge celebrations both on court and in the stands.
Bopanna was mobbed by his team-mates who raced on to the court while the spectators cheered and danced in joy in sharp contrast to the Brazilian bench that presented a forlorn picture after their challenge melted in the oppressive weather.
Overall, the Indians adapted to the conditions far better and their choice of venue and surface stood vindicated while the Brazilians, for all their pre-match optimism, just could not cope with the weather.
"The heat and humidity was good for me and Bops (Bopanna). It didnít hurt us, but it helped us. I stand by my decision and it was a good call," Somdev said.
Brazil team captain Joao Zwetsch said he was obviously disappointed that they lost after leading 2-0 and that the weather conditions did affect his players.
"Itís always disappointing to lose after leading 2-0, but I am proud the way our boys played. It is the end of the year and the boys are tired. The heat and the time difference made it difficult for us," he said.
Bopanna, although not serving as well he would have liked to, still outplayed Mello for the best part of the three sets by firing more winners and being more composed despite the pressure he was under after Somdev's victory left Indiaís hopes in his hands.
"I just went out there thinking positive and played freely. My captain (Shiv Prakash Misra) told me to focus on my serves and be aggressive. Thatís precisely what I did. Of course, the encouragement I received from my team-mates did help," said Bopanna....being a human...