Bellucci retires against Somdev, India level the tie 2-2

Devvarman led 7-6 (3), 4-0 before Thomaz Bellucci conceded his first reverse singles match.

Chennai: A dominant Somdev Devvarman led
7-6 (3), 4-0 before Thomaz Bellucci conceded his first reverse
singles match to allow India to level the World Group play-off
tie against Brazil 2-2 here on Sunday.

Ranked 113th, Somdev had the upperhand in the fourth
rubber when the Brazilian world number 27 opted out of

According to the information received so far, Bellucci
encountered some breathing problem due to humid conditions and
was unable to continue.

If Rohan Bopanna beats Ricardo Mello in the fifth and
final rubber later today, India would reclaim a berth in the
elite 16-team World Group.

Both Bopanna and Somdev had lost the singles on the
opening day of the tie on Friday.

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi kept the Indian chances
alive in the tie by beating Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares in
doubles yesterday.

Coming into the fourth rubber in a do-or-die situation,
Somdev put up a brave fight against Bellucci, who also looked
in good nick.

Both of them played some engrossing tennis in the first
set but Bellucci seemed uncomfortable in the second set.

After dropping his serve twice, he walked up to net to
shake hands with Somdev and the chair umpire and left the

Unlike the first singles he played against Bopanna,
Bellucci was spot on with his first serve today and played
beautifully throughout the first set.

He had hit six aces only in his two serve games.

Somdev too showed a lot of heart and gave a tough time to
his superior ranked opponent in the intensely fought first

It was Somdev, who got the first break chance in the
ninth game but Bellucci saved all three and the set was
stretched to a tie-breaker after going on serve.

Bellucci`s game started to wither at crucial points as he
double faulted and committed some unforced errors to hand
Somdev a comfortable 5-1 lead.

Somdev latched on the opportunity and closed the set in
his favour after Bellucci sent a forehand long.

However, the match took an unexpected turn when Bellucci
looked out of sorts and finally threw in the towel.