Somdev Devvarman took just eight minutes to complete the unfinished business as he beat Ti Chen 6-7 (4) 7-6 (3) 1-6 6-2 9-7 in the second singles to put India 2-0 ahead in the Asia/Oceania Group I Davis Cup tie in Indore on Saturday.
Beginning the day at tied 7-7 in the fifth set after bad light stopped play yesterday, Somdev played attacking tennis as he served well, hit the ball hard, found the lines and was able to pin Chen on the baseline to set up easily put away volleys.
This was exactly what Chen was doing to Somdev on Friday.
The change in tactics was rewarding for the Indian as he broke Chen in the 16th game, albeit after squandering two match points.
Finally, Somdev clinched the issue on his seventh match point when Chen hit one wide. Overall, the contest lasted four hours and 40 minutes over two days.
“It was unfortunate that I could not serve it out yesterday at 5-3 but I am glad I did it today,” Somdev said after the match.
On Friday, Yuki Bhambri had battled cramps to beat Tsung Hua Yang 6-2 6-4 6-7 (1) 6-3 in the opening singles rubber of this first round tie at Indore Tennis Club.
It was the third meeting between Somdev and Chen. The Indian had beaten Chen in an away Davis Cup tie in 2009 and then at the Asian Games the next year.
However, Chen showed that he has improved by leaps and bounds from that time as the two players produced high quality and scintillating tennis in this contest.
On Friday Somdev’s play was very defensive, just retrieving the balls.
Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myneni on Saturday face Hsien-Yin Peng and Hsin-Han Lee in the doubles rubber, aiming to seal the tie for India.
Indian legend Vijay Amritraj was today honoured with ITF Davis Cup Commitment Award after the completion of the Somdev-Chen match.