There was a change in the Danish line-up at the start of Day 2 of the Davis Cup tie against India. Mikael Torpegaard was now to pair up with captain Frederik Nielsen, in the hopes of rescuing the World Group 1 Playoff tie that was firmly in favour of the hosts at the Delhi Gymkhana Club.
In front of the Danish pair, though, was the experienced Indian doubles pair of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan. And though the European team managed to win the first set (through a tiebreak), the Indians held their nerve to come from behind and win the doubles match 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(4).
And with the win, the Indians secured the tie to go to an unassailable 3-0 lead and cemented their spot in World Group 1 of the Davis Cup for this year.
“Torpegaard had a few good returns in the first set tiebreak,” explained Bopanna after the match. “As long as we were holding serve it always gave us a chance.”
The Indians did just that as the Danish team could not break either Bopanna or Sharan throughout the three sets. The only break in the match came on the Nielsen serve which helped India win the second set.
But the pressure was always on the visiting team after Day 1 ended with a 2-0 score to the Indians.
On Friday, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Yuki Bhambri came up with straight sets wins over Denmark’s Christian Sigsgaard and Torpegaard respectively to put the hosts in a commanding position in the tie.
The pressure was off for the doubles duo, but the work still had to be done with Torpegaard finding his range and Nielsen – the 2012 Wimbledon doubles champion – being an able grass courter.
No serves were broken in the first and third set, but the crowd started to get involved in the latter stages of the match to push the Indian team that had been facing the heat.
At 5-6 in the deciding set, on Sharan serve, the Indian pair had to save three match-points to take the game into the deciding tiebreak. There though the Indians proved their experience to race to a 4-1 lead.
At 5-4, Bopanna stepped up to serve out the match, and the tie.
Ramkumar wins dead rubber to make it 4-0
Ramkumar Ramanthan came back on court in the dead rubber fourth match to play Johannes Ingildsen. But it was the Dane who impressed in the first set to take it 7-5.
The Indian had to stay patient and search for openings and finally got it right at the end of the second set, and later claimed the match tiebreak to earn a 5-7, 7-5, 10-7 win to take the tie to a 4-0 scoreline in favour of the hosts.
Match 1: Ramkumar Ramanathan beat Christian Sigsgaard 6-3, 6-2
Match 2: Yuki Bhambri beat Mikael Torpegaard 6-4, 6-4
Match 3: Rohan Bopanna-Divij Sharan beat Frederik Nielsen-Mikael Torpegaard 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(4)
Match 4: Ramkumar Ramanathan beat Johannes Ingildsen 5-7, 7-5, 10-7