New Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) Lukas Rosol had to fight the crowd, muggy weather and a spirited fightback from Yuki Bhambri to beat the Indian and give the Czech Republic’s tennis team a 1-0 lead in the Davis Cup World Group Playoff here on Friday.
With the sun playing hide and seek, World No.85 Rosol had to endure the extremely humid conditions to beat Bhambri 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 in an hour and 56 minutes in the first singles rubber on the hard courts of the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA) complex.
Bhambri had a good start with clean serves on the rebound ace and won the first game of the match rather easily. The first three games of the match went in order with neither player threatening the other.
But right then Rosol stepped it up to win the next five games and take home the set in only 24 minutes. He broke the local boy thrice and held serve with ease to win the set comfortably.
Bhambri could not match Rosol’s on-court movement and ground strokes at all. But the heat and humidity was getting to the Czech as he needed his ice pack from the first game itself.
Despite the adverse conditions, Rosol continued his rampage, winning the first four games of the second set, and nine in a row. World No.125 Bhambri was broken twice and it came as a relief to the Indian when he just about managed to hold serve in the fifth game of the set.
Rosol needed his towel after almost every two points but that did not stop him from winning the sixth and seventh games to clinch second set in half an hour, pleasing the applauding Czech ambassador Milan Hovorka, who was in attendance.
With good support from the growing home crowd, Bhambri tried to fight back in the third set. The 23-year-old made Rosol commit errors and broke the Czech for the first time in the match in the third game.
However, it did not take much time for the superior Rosol to break back in the sixth game, levelling the set at 3-3.
But Rosol had now decided to up the ante and clinched the next two games to take home the match. With Bhambri’s groundstroke going into the net, Rosol gave the visitors the much needed lead in the match.
“He played much better. His ground strokes showed what a top class player he is and he belongs to the top rung in the circuit. I couldn’t play well,a Bhambri said.