The hosts registered a remarkable victory.
India defeated higher-ranked Denmark in a Davis Cup World Group I Playoff tie at the Delhi Gymkhana Club in New Delhi. The tie took place across two days, on March 4th and 5th. The hosts eventually secured a 4-0 win to keep their place in the Davis Cup World Group I, while Denmark will play in World Group II.
The Indian tennis players delivered impressive performances, despite coming into the tie under a lot of pressure. Fans of tennis had huge expectations and the iconic venue, which was hosting a Davis Cup fixture after almost five decades, saw incredible action.
From comfortable singles wins to the edge of the seat stuff in the doubles, here are India’s takeaways from the Davis Cup tie with Denmark:
Good display of determination
A crucial element in the Indian players’ performance was their never say die attitude. Coming up against opponents from Denmark who are usually tough on grass courts, the Indians had their hands full. However, the spectators saw good comebacks from the Indian players from pressure situations. For instance, Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan saved three match points in their process of defeating Frederik Nielsen and Mikael Torpegaard in an important Davis Cup match.
Rohan Bopanna’s impressive serves
The doubles match was very vital for the Indians as it involved their most experienced player in Rohan Bopanna. The tall and powerful player showed his class in the Davis Cup, particularly from his serves. Starting the doubles match with three consecutive aces, he was crucial to his team’s success. Divij Sharan’s serve was put under pressure by Nielsen and Torpegaard, but Bopanna was rarely seen struggling.
Sensational in singles
Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramanathan gave India a very strong lead heading into the second day of the double-header. Their wins in the singles were a major step in giving India the win over Denmark in the Davis Cup. Ramanathan, India’s highest-ranked singles player secured a 6-2, 6-3 win over Christian Sigsgaard and Yuki Bhambri defeated Mikael Torpegaard 6-4, 6-4 in straight sets.
Reliance on Rohan Bopanna
It is clear that Bopanna is heading towards the final stages of his career. Indian representation in doubles will suffer without his availability. It is important that young players are given more exposure to fill the void left by him in the near future.
The second day was all about Denmark’s resolve to make a comeback in the tie. Knowing that they had to win all three matches on the day, they came out strong. In both contests, be it doubles or singles on Saturday, the Indians had to dig deep and claw their way back to secure wins. Ramkumar beat Joahhnes Ingildsen 5-7, 7-5, 10-7, as he too suffered from a slow start.
Divij Sharan’s serving
This is less a negative and more an area of improvement for the player. Teaming up with Bopanna in the Davis Cup, Sharan was under pressure to keep hold of his serve. The Danish opponents put him under pressure and the going was getting tough for the player. This is an area of his game where he can put more effort and evolve as a player. Having said that, both Bopanna and Sharan are ageing and India needs younger representation in the doubles category, with an eye towards the future.