Victor Hanescu mercilessly crushed India’s hopes to make the Davis Cup World Group as he knocked out Prakash Amritraj in the first reverse singles to give Romania an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match playoff tie.
The Romanian number one outplayed Prakash 6-2 6-3, 6-1 to make the second reverse singles, to be played between Somdev Devvarman and Victor Cruvoi, inconsequential.
Hanescu, world number 67, remained undefeated in the tie as he displayed a solid all-round game and the Indian, ranked as low as 222, had no answer to his powerful game.
A berth in the World Group thus continued to remain out of India’s reach and it goes back to the Asia/Oceania Group, where it will once again fight to come back to play the World Group play-offs.
India last played in World Group in 1998.
Hansecu raised the tempo gradually and raised his game to a different level as the match progressed, taking it away from the Indian game after game.
Prakash did play well in flashes but it needed immense talent apart from mental toughness and continued intensity to tame a player like Hanescu.
Early trouble welcomed Prakash as he faced breakpoint in the very first game of the match but saved it via some big serves.
Hanescu continued the way he played on the first day as he served well and used the drop shots brilliantly.
The Romanian number one had pummelled Somdev Devvarman in the singles on Friday but Prakash, India’s number one, was determined to give a good fight to his formidable opponent in the must-win match for the visitors.