Novi Sad: Rohan Bopanna put up a gallant fight against world number 18 Viktor Troicki before
losing as India conceded a 0-1 lead against top seed and
defending champions Serbia in the first round of the Davis Cup
World Group tie here on Friday.
A formidable doubles player but ranked 629 in singles,
Bopanna lost 3-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 3-6 in the first singles after
fighting for three-hours and 19 minutes at Spens Sports
The onus to bring India back in the tie lies with the
93rd rank Somdev Devvarman, who will now lock horns with world
number 45 Janko Tipsarevic in the second singles.
Bopanna defied odds to stage an excellent comeback as he
was down by two sets but kept fighting and things changed when
he grabbed the must-win third set with a break of serve in
the 12th game.
Going with the momentum, Bopanna came out firing on all
cylinders, reducing the sea-difference between the rankings to
mere a number, and stretched the match to the deciding fifth
A lot of drama followed when Bopanna was serving for the
fourth set in the ninth game having broken Troicki in the
previous game as he argued with the chair umpire over a call.
Already incense with the home crowd, which was making a
lot noise in backing the son of the soil, Bopanna lost his
cool when a call resulted in his double fault.
India captain S P Misra was also not happy as many of the
calls earlier also went against Bopanna.
However, Bopanna after saving two breakpoints in that
game, stunned the crowd by winning the set when a Troicki
return kissed the net.