Bangalore: A sleepless night following rain-induced suspension of play and overnight change of schedules seemed to have done little to dampen Filip Krajinovic who won the decisive fifth rubber to help Serbia beat India 3-2 in their Davis Cup World Group playoff here Monday afternoon.
The match was halted Sunday night following rains with Krajinovic leading 6-3, 4-4. With the match scheduled to resume at 12 noon Monday, it forced cancellation of air tickets and attendant alterations in the plans of teams and players besides support staff and match officials.
“I couldn’t sleep last night as I kept replaying the points. The pressure was very much there and it wasn’t easy, but my plan was to win the second set rather than it being 1-1. So, I did well to break him first thing today,” said the 22-year old Krajinovic after his 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, win against Yuki Bhambri in the second reverse singles that helped Serbia win the tie 3-2.
“For the first time, I was playing a major match and I am proud that I won and also helped the team win the tie.
“I knew, it will be easier for me to break him early today, because if Yuki had won the second set, it would have been 1-1, and the match could have gone the other way. I started aggressive today and broke him in the very first game (the ninth of the set).
“It was tough to come out and play today. Different time, different environment and you never know what will happen,” said Krajinovic referring to the noon start and the near-empty stadium in which the match was played Monday.
The Serb, ranked 107, dwelt on his off-court relationship with Bhambri, saying they have known each other since their junior days and training together at the Nick Bollitteri academy in Florida, US.
“We spend a lot of time together as we both train at the Bollitteri academy. I feel sad that he lost, but that is tennis,” said Krajinovic.
Serbian team’s non-playing captain Bogdan Obradovic complemented Krajinovic for holding his nerve in a high pressure match and attributed his success to preparations.
“He has been with the team for a couple of years and so, he was prepared well for the match. I am happy that we could still win the tie despite our top three players (Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki) not being there.
“It is a good sign for Serbian tennis that new young players are coming up who are not just playing more matches, but winning them,” said Obradovic under whom Serbia won the Davis Cup in 2010 and were runners-up last year.
When queried about the line calls that frequently upset the Serbian camp, Obradovic said he was all for introducing the hawk-eye in Davis Cup competition.
“Yes, the hawk-eye would have helped, but then, we have to follow rules. May be, today, someone up there was smiling on us,” said Obradovic in an obvious reference to the line calls they disputed, especially when Krajinovic apparently served an ace wide to Bhambri’s backhand on match point that was called out.
Later, Bhambri, who lost both his singles ties in straight sets, was obviously disappointed with his performance, especially against Krajinovic which he described as the “worst of his 10-year tennis career”.
“I made a lot of unforced errors. There was nothing wrong with me. I was just not hitting well and my game was not there in both the singles matches.
“I haven’t made so many errors in my 10-year tennis career as I did against Krajinovic. Obviously, I am very disappointed that I lost both the singles matches and I hope I get more chances in the future (to make amends),” said Bhambri who had lost to Dusan Lajovic Friday in the first singles.