Leander Paes and Saketh Myneni fought and strived but after three hours of rigorous fight, the Indians fell short to the Spanish pairing and the Rio Olympics doubles gold medallists Rafa Nadal and Marc Lopez to go down 6-4, 6-7, 4-6, 4-6. The win gives Spain an unassailable 3-0 lead in the World Group playoff and makes the singles rubbers for Sunday a mere formality.
The loss, for Paes, keeps him away from the Davis Cup doubles record of 43 wins but in the on-court interview later, he confirmed “India I’m not retiring, not until I get that record” and the country needs his services as it showed on Saturday night.
The Spanish team’s selection also proved to be a delight for the Indian audience who went home dejected after Nadal pulled out of the singles contest on Friday with an alleged stomach ache.
The reverse singles on Saturday will possibly see Sumit Nagal get a chance to play aimed at giving him exposure at the top level.