India make World Group play-offs

Somdev prevailed 6-4 5-7 6-3 6-1 in the first reverse singles to make the overall scoreline 3-1 in favour of India.

By: Press Trust of India | Busan | Published: April 7, 2014 12:45 am

The Indian Davis Cup team entered the World Group playoffs after notching up a away triumph over Korea following Somdev Devvarman’s win over Yong-Kyu Lim in the reverse singles of the Group I Asia/Oceania second round tie.

Somdev prevailed 6-4 5-7 6-3 6-1 in the first reverse singles to make the overall scoreline 3-1 in favour of India, rendering the second reverse singles inconsequential leading to its cancellation.

It was another one of those trademark fighting efforts by Somdev, who had endured a tough contest on the opening day as well. Somdev’s much-admired never-say-die-attitude was once again on display against Lim, who wilted after putting up a good show in the first two sets.

Lim had beaten Sanam Singh in the opening singles on day one of the contest but was out-witted. India have now improved their overall head-to-head record against Korea to 4-6. The last time the two teams played was in 2013 when the Koreans beat India 4-1 in New Delhi in the absence of top players, who boycotted the tie.

India came into this tie after having blanked Taipei 5-0 while hosts had got a bye in first round as one of the top seeds.

Italy 2-2 Britain

Naples: Fabio Fognini pulled off a surprise straight sets victory over two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray as Italy leveled the Davis Cup quarterfinal against Britain 2-2 on Sunday.

Fognini triumphed 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in the clash between the countries’ top players to keep alive Italy’s bid to reach the semis for the first time in 16 years. The final break came in the final game when the eighth-ranked Murray rescued two match points but hit a third into the net. James Ward now faces Andrea Seppi in the decisive fifth match, with Britain hoping to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1981.

Italy has not lost at home to Britain since 1926, but that record looked in danger when Murray broke Fognini’s serve in the first game. Fognini managed to save two break points but double-faulted to hand Murray the opening game. The 13th-ranked Fognini had the opportunity to break straight back but hit long and then netted on another break point as Murray went on to take a 2-0 lead.

Fognini broke Murray to love and raced into a 40-0 lead, losing just two of 14 points. The Italian broke again when Murray double-faulted after rescuing two break points, and he won his fifth straight game to take the opening set. Murray almost dropped serve again early in the second set as he had to fend off two break points after being 40-0 up.

However, Fognini broke twice at the end of the second set, moving into a 2-0 lead following another double-fault from Murray on the first of two break points. The final set went with serve until the final game, which saw Fognini rack up a 40-0 lead on Murray’s serve.

Murray saved one match point when Fognini netted a forehand, and rescued the second with a crosscourt volley but hit the third into the net. It was Murray’s second defeat in 20 singles matches in the Davis Cup.

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