Johannesburg: India’s Davis Cup captain SP Misra is confident that the team will seal their World Group play-off tie here against South Africa in Sunday’s first reverse singles after the contest spilled into the third day with the withdrawal of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna from the doubles rubber midway Saturday.
Bhupathi, playing the doubles tie with Bopanna in the absence of injured Leander Paes, pulled his groin in the second game of the third set, after splitting the first two against Jeff Coetzee and Wesley Moodie. The Indians then decided to pull out, trailing 3-6, 6-3, 0-4 at the Ellis Park Indoor Arena.
“Mahesh pulled his right groin when he stretched out to play a high volley. He was in lot of pain and was not able to serve and volley or move sideways,” Misra said.
“Mahesh had a similar injury last year in May and it had taken him three weeks to recover. So when the discomfort grew, he decided to concede the match.”
The Indians’ withdrawal, thus gave the hosts a lifeline who were behind 0-2 in the tie after Somdev Devvarman and Bopanna won their opening singles Friday.
Misra said he is expecting Somdev to close out the tie in the first reverse singles where he will play South Africa’s No.1 and his practice partner Rik de Voest.
“I have great faith in Somdev. He is very focussed, always into the match. He has adjusted well to the conditions. We should wrap up the tie in the first reverse singles, that’s my feeling.”
“We had a great first day. We played top quality tennis. So, the doubles turned out to be a bit of a dampener as we were looking to win the tie today. But no one has control over such things,” he said.
“But we still have an upper hand. We just need to win one more match while South Africa have to win both their reverse singles.”