x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Rohan Bopanna, Saketh Myeni give India edge in Davis Cup tie v South Korea

Aiming for a spot in the World Group play-offs, which could earn them a place in the 2015 Davis Cup main draw, India went 2-1 up on South Korea on Saturday with a doubles victory by Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myeni.

India opened a 2-1 lead over South Korea in the Davis Cup second-round tie in the southern South Korean port city of Busan on Saturday.

In the day’s lone doubles rubber on the hard court, Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myneni defeated Lee Hyung-Taik and Lim Yong-Kyu 7-6(7/4), 5-7, 7-6(7/2), 6-3.

Bopanna is the highest-ranked doubles player on either team at No 14, and teamed up with the 188th-ranked Myneni.

Lee, a 38-year-old who came out of a four-year retirement in 2013, made a last-minute switch of his doubles partner, swapping number 589 Noh Sang-Woo for the 241st-ranked Lim, but the change didn’t pay dividends for South Korea.

Bopanna and Myneni took the opening set in a tiebreak, and the South Koreans promptly drew even in the next set, getting the break and serving out to win 7-5.

Lee and Lim led 4-2 in the third set but then Bopanna and Myneni claimed three consecutive games to lead 5-4. The South Koreans forced another tiebreak before succumbing 7-6 (7/2).

Bopanna and Myneni had a much easier time in the decisive fourth set, capitalising on their hard serves to win 6-3 and close out the match.

On Friday, Somdev Devvarman defeated Chung Hyeon in straight sets, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3), 6-4. Then Lim dispatched Sanam Singh in three sets, 7-6(7/5), 6-4, 6-4.

In Sunday’s reverse singles, Devvarman, ranked 88th in the singles, will take on 300th-ranked Lim, and world No 371 Singh will face Chung, ranked 377th. The winner of the tie will move on to the World Group play-offs.

India have lost to South Korea 4-1 in each of their last two meetings. South Korea, who earned a bye in the first round, are chasing their first World Group playoff berth since 2008.

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