Christchurch: In a shock start for India, Somdev Devvarman frittered away a two-set advantage to lose the opening singles to lower-ranked Michael Venus as the visitors trail 0-1 against New Zealand in the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group I tie, here on Friday.
Venus, ranked as low as 548 in the singles, turned the tables on Somdev, who lost the opening singles 6-4 6-4 3-6 3-6 1-6 after three hours and 43.
Egged on by the home crowd, Venus recovered amazingly after losing the first two sets and outsmarted 148th ranked Somdev to surprise the visiting camp.
The onus to bring India back is now on Yuki Bhambri, who will take on Jose Statham in the second singles.
The winner of the tie will qualify for the World Group Play-offs to be held in September.