Lillehammer [Norway], September 18 (ANI): The Indian tennis team could not overcome their Davis Cup 2022 World Group I opponent Norway on Saturday, ending in a 3-1 loss for them. India will now compete in the World Group I play-off round for the following year's competition.
Needing to win all its matches on Day 2, the Indian tennis team lost their very first match of the day with Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni going down in doubles.
With both Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan losing their respective singles matches to world No. 2 Casper Ruud and Viktor Durasovic respectively, on Day 1, India entered Day 2 needing to win all their three matches to salvage the tie.
In the first match of the day, a doubles contest, Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni paired up to look for the win which would keep India in the tie but lost 3-6, 6-3, 3-6 to Casper Ruud and Viktor Durasovic at the Hakons Hall in Lillehammer.
Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni, both doubles specialists, were expected to put up a stiff challenge considering the duo is coming off a successful 2022 season, which saw them win five ATP Challengers and two Futures events.
However, the Indian pair found themselves on the ropes early as they failed to hold their serve in the second game. Bhambri and Myneni immediately broke the Norway pair and levelled up the score at 2-2 in the first set but Ruud and Durasovic seemed more comfortable on home turf and cruised to a 6-3 win in the first set.
Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni put up a much better challenge in the second set and finally broke through the Norway pair's serve in the sixth game. The Indians held on to reverse the scores from set one and forced a third set.
With everything riding on the final set, the Indian pair started well but faltered in the fourth game to go 3-1 down. Ruud and Viktor Durasovic stayed solid from there on out to close out the match in just under two hours.
With Norway 3-0 up in the five-match tie, the remaining two singles matches became dead rubbers.
Sumit Nagal, playing for the first time in the tie, finally registered India on the scoreboard with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Lukas Hellum Lilleengen and made it 3-1.
The final match between Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Durasovic wasn't played. (ANI)