Davis Cup: Youngsters help India beat New Zealand

Vishnu VardhanChandigarh: Vishnu Vardhan first won his singles match and then paired up with Divij Sharan to win a thrilling doubles encounter as India took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the Davis Cup Group 1 relegation play-off tie against New Zealand here on Saturday. Vishnu and Divij edged past the Kiwi duo of Michael Venus and Daniel King-Tuner 7-6 (3) 4-6 6-3 6-7 (4) 6-3 in the marathon third rubber, which lasted three hours and 52 minutes.

The result meant that India will stay in the Asia/Oceania Group in the 2013 season and will strive to regain entry into the elite 16-team World Group.

Earlier, Vishnu Vardhan had an easy outing against Jose Statham in the singles match to give India 2-0 lead in the ongoing Davis Cup Asia Oceania relegation play-off tie against New Zealand.

Vardhan who was leading yesterday when bad-light stopped play, started brilliantly to win the match 6-2 6-7(5) 6-4 6-2.

Vishnu played some brilliant right from the first set to beat Statham who is the number one ranked Kiwi player. Vishnu won the first set comfortably, but the Kiwi player fought hard to take the second set into tie-breaker. In the tie-breaker Statham got the lead and one the set.

Vishnu came back hard in the third set, his serve was very impressive and his returns troubled the Kiwi player. The match was stopped then with the Indian leading two sets to one.

Today, Vishnu picked up from where he left and never gave Statham the opportunity to crawl back in the match. The Kiwi player struggled against the big-booming serves from Vishnu. Both players held their serves in the first four games of the fourth set. Vishnu in the fifth game broke his opponent’s serve to get the advantage. From there he never looked back and sealed the match that went for two hours and 57 minutes.