New Delhi: Somdev Devvarman's love affair with the DLTA Centre Court continued as he drew level India's Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie against Czech Republic 1-1 with an upset win over Jiri Vesley after Yuki Bhambri's tame defeat in the opening singles, here.
Somdev's biggest victory of the season could not have been timed better as India were in a spot after Yuki's 2-6 1-6 5-7 defeat against big-hitting Lukas Rosol, the world number 85.
Somdev came out and maintained his impeccable record at DLTA with a 7-6 (3) 6-4 6-3 win over world number 40 Jiri Vesley, yet again showing that ranking was just a mere number in Davis Cup matches.
Somdev has not lost a single match here since 2010 and Vesley has never won a live rubber in his Davis Cup career and the status quo remained.
Somdev has suffered defeats against players, ranked outside 400 (Emilio Gomez, 402) on the Challenger circuit in a very ordinary 2015 season so far but the hard-working Indian has managed to win when it mattered most to the nation.
It was not as hot and humid as expected. The intermittent breeze and cloudy sky made the weather conditions quite tolerable with temperature remaining between 31 and 34 degree celsius.
Somdev's fitness, his strong legs and the heart for fight were at work yet again as he pulled off a stunning win. He moved swiftly on the court, hit strokes with precisions and always found a way to open the court for winners, a total of 65.
"It's more of a relief. I enjoy playing here. It's a team effort, it's because of them that I could perform," Somdev said after his inspiring win.
Seasoned players Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna will now take on Radek Stepanek and Adam Pavlasek in the doubles rubber tomorrow.
In a complete contrast to the first match in which the first set was over in just 24 minutes, Somdev and Vesley fought a battle of attrition. 27 minutes into the match the score was 2-1 on serve as a baseline slugfest was on.
There were seven break chances in those three games - four for Somdev, but no player could convert. The Indian raised the level of his game by several notches as he sprayed winners - a staggering 32 - all over the court and hit 11 aces in the first set. The serve was not fierce but Somdev found the perfect angles to keep the ball out of Vesley's reach.