The first day in Kraljevo: The teams’ number ones were under special pleasure as it more or less their “mandatory” mission to beat the oppenent’s number #2. The first player on that mission was Ramkumar Ramathan, who failed in four sets. Dusan Lajovic sealed the 2-0 lead after the first day beating India’s second-best ranked singles competitor, Prajnesh Gunneswaran.
The Tennis Davis Cup coverage from Kraljevo is done in collaboration with
Laslo Djere vs. Ramkumar Ramathan 3-6 6-4 7-6(2) 6-2
The match started with a thrilling situation: Djere slided away and slightly cut his knee in the fifth game. He could play on, also due to medical treatment in the court change break. Nevertheless, India took advantage of that situation, broke Serbia right after the medical. Ramathan finally did not allow any opportunity for Djere to come back to the first set and won 6-3.
In the second set, Djere better understood how to challenge Ramanathan’s game. Thus, the Indian did not manage to go to the net as frequent as possible. Not too much of a challenge for the serving players in the second set, before Djere got into deep trouble in the ninth match. The Serbian survived, but Ramathan did worse in his service – finally, a double fault sealed his faith and a tied set score.
Serbia seemed to be on track now, breaking India right in their first service game. But they struggled at own service. Ramanathan took the second of three break points to be back in the match. Not too much happening again then in this third set first. Just in the very last game before tie-break had to face a series of But despite all that and a break point against him, he managed to get into the tie breaker. But Djere did a brave job, taking a 4:0 lead in the decider and having an easy sail into safe waters: 7:2 in the tie-break, Serbia one set ahead.
Ramanathan, ranked 50 spots behind the Serbian, never gave up and also gave a great fight in the fourth set, but finally just did not convert his chances. Having no chance to convert one of two break points in the fourth game gave a break in his match. Djere took the break in the game thereafter and was very lucky that a close call in favor of the hosts has not been challenged by Ramanatan at break point – finally, the Indian struggled too much in the last games and lost the fourth one 2-6.
Dusan Lajovic vs. Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-4 6-3 6-4
The match was quite a contrast to the first singles rubber. Both players acted more from the baseline, played power-tennis and went for the shots. Thereby, the eleven-years-on-tour Dusan Lajovic just played the more complete game, converted his chances and had a three-setter rush over Gunneswaran. In the first set, Gunneswaran started with a break point against Lajovic, but failed and ran into a break on his own first service game. He was able to re-break, but failed during the set again. There seemed to be a chance for a comeback: the Indian broke Serbia at 5-3, Serbia to serve. Instead of leveling the score, another break lead to the 6-4 first set victory for Layovic.
In the second set, Gunneswaran was even closer. But again, he failed to convert deciding match situations. Ruining one service game completely and facing three break points gave him an unfortunate route in second set. Again, there was a chance for a comeback, when Lajovic faced break points at his final serve of the set, but the Serbian survived. Third set was very similar, starting with a break for Serbia, which Gunneswaran simply could not get back. The Indian played a good match, showed good baseline power, but a potential to improve on sniping the decing points, while Lajovic had a harder time than the score might suggest, but finally gave Serbia the 2-0 lead.
Serbia vs. India Davis Cup – Other Postings
Flyctory.com offers a full coverage of the tie in Kraljevo in collaboration with Indian Tennis Daily. There was a preview posting earlier in the week illustrating why this is no playoff tie – and which teams are hoping for a final tournament 2019 spot:
Here are the postings from Kraljevo:
- Serbia vs. India – Preview and Draw Ceremony
- Serbia vs. India – Day 1
- Serbia vs. India – Day 2
- Serbia vs. India – Day 3
Serbia vs. India Davis Cup – Galleries
All pictures from Kraljevo are gathered in a dedicated gallery group. Here are the links to the individual galleries, split by Match:
- Serbia vs. India – Draw / Training / Preview Gallery
- Serbia vs. India – Singles #1: Djere – Ramanathan
- Serbia vs. India – Singles #2: Lajovic – Gunneswaran
- Serbia vs. India – Doubles: Milojevic / Petrovic – Bopanna / Myneni
- Serbia vs. India – Singles #3: Kristin – Balaji
Postings about Tennis
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