Tianjin, April 6 (IANS) After shock defeats of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal on the opening day of the Davis Cup second round against China here on Friday, the Indian team was pushed towards defeat at the zonal level for the first time in five years.
Ramanathan lost the first singles 6-7(4) 4-6 to China’s Yibing Wu, failing to lead the team in the absence of in-form Yuki Bhambri, who skipped the tie due to a minor abdomen injury.
The 18-year-old Chinese, who was junior world number one till very recently and won both singles and doubles junior US Open titles in 2017, dropped serve in the first game only to immediately break back and eventually take the set via tie-breaker.
Ramkumar had two break opportunties in the second set but could convert none and dropped serve once to let the home side take a 1-0 lead.
Young Sumit Nagal then failed to bring India back in the tie losing 4-6, 1-6 to Ze Zhang, ranked 247 in just 67 minutes.
India have managed to win a Davis Cup tie from being down 0-2 only once, in 2010 when they beat Brazil in Chennai with Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi winning the doubles and Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna producing thrilling victories on the last day.
Paes and Bopanna will now play a do-or-die third rubber against Mao-Xin Gong and Di Wu on Saturday.