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Davis Cup: Rohan Bopanna logs win in farewell tie, India advance to World Group I play-offs

Rohan Bopanna is carried on their shoulders by the Indian Davis Cup staff after beating Morocco 4-1 within the World Group II tie in Lucknow. Picture: Artsmith

Rohan Bopanna introduced the curtains down on his Davis Cup profession with a snug straight units win alongside Yuki Bhambri earlier than Sumit Nagal received his reverse singles as India superior to the World Group I playoffs with a 4-1 triumph towards Morocco in Lucknow on Sunday.

The 43-year-old Bopanna, popping out to play his thirty third and remaining tie, and Bhambri raced to a 6-2 6-1 win over Elliot Benchetrit and Younes Lalami Laaroussi in a single hour and 11 minutes on the Mini Stadium.

India’s primary singles participant Sumit Nagal outgunned Yassine Dlimi 6-3 6-3 within the first reverse singles to seal the World Group II tie.

It is just the second time that Nagal has received each his singles matches in a Davis Cup tie. He had received the same consequence beneath his belt whereas enjoying towards Pakistan in Kazakhstan in 2019.

Nagal earned early breaks in each the units, leaving Dlimi enjoying catch-up within the contest that led to one hour and 43 minutes.

Rookie Digvijay Pratap Singh, who ended runner-up on the Fenesta Nationals final 12 months, received the inconsequential fifth rubber towards Walid Ahouda 6-1, 5-7, 10-6 on his debut.

The 23-year previous trains at Nationwide Tennis Centre (NTC) in New Delhi and must work onerous on his recreation to compete at a excessive stage.

Morocco received just one rubber within the tie when Sasikumar Mukund conceded the opening singles towards Dlimi because of cramps.

An emotional Bopanna rested his India-shirt on the court docket, marking the tip of his Davis Cup profession through which he performed 50 matches in 33 ties, profitable 23 rubbers, together with 13 in doubles.

Watched by his household and associates, Bopanna, who made his Davis Cup debut in 2002, acknowledged the followers’ appreciation and blew kisses in direction of the spectators stands.

About 50 of Bopanna’s household and associates flew to Lucknow to look at the Coorg participant in motion one final time in Davis Cup. They had been carrying T-shirts that had a tri-colour-waving Bopanna image printed.

As one of the highly effective servers of the sport makes the exit, the subsequent technology gamers must up their recreation. Bopanna will proceed enjoying on the ATP Tour.

Requested why he has determined to give up Davis Cup when he’ll nonetheless be lively on Professional Tour, Bopanna justified his determination.

“The number one thing is that there is another Indian who takes my spot. On the tour, that’s not going to happen,” Bopanna informed PTI.

“And through the years, every week off right here and there earlier than large occasions has made that distinction. So if I cease Davis Cup and get these two weeks off, it makes such an enormous distinction by way of how my physique is feeling and every thing.

“And one of the major reasons, also is that we have a daughter who’s four years old. I would like to spend time also at home. It has been a fantastic journey, everything has to come to an end,” he added.

Younes couldn’t maintain his serve even as soon as within the match whereas the Indians confronted only one break level when Bhambri served and saved that too.

The Indians drew first blood after they broke Younes. On a Bhambri backhand return at 30-15, Younes netted the volley. Bhambri smashed a volley winner on Younes’ return to earn the primary breakpoint.

Benchetrit went for an angled volley winner on a Bhambri return however the ball went out as Indians led 3-1. Bopanna got here out serving the subsequent recreation at like to make it 4-1.

Younes’ serve got here beneath assault as soon as once more in recreation eight. Bopanna discovered a winner at 15-15 and the Morocco participant served a double fault to be down by two break factors.

Bhambri transformed the set level with a volley winner on a feeble Younes return. The primary set led to a jiffy, simply 34 minutes because the Indians misplaced 5 level on their serve.

Bopanna’s large serve was at work within the second set too as he started the proceedings with a snug maintain however Bhambri’s serve got here beneath strain within the third recreation when at 30-all, his half-volley decide up flew out of the court docket.

The Indians, although, saved the break level.

Younes was up 40-0 on his serve in recreation 4 however misplaced his approach, serving double fault and making a number of unforced errors to lose his serve for the third time within the match. Bhambri served out the match.



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