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Yuki gives India lead

Indore: Yuki Bhambri recovered from mid-match cramps just in time to down Tsung Hua Yang, but Somdev Dev Varman’s fate was hanging in balance in the marathon unfinished second singles, suspended due to fading light, as India lead 1-0 in the Asia/Oceania Group I Davis Cup tie, here on Friday.

Troubled by cramps in the third set, Yuki fought off pain and his sluggish rival for a 6-2, 6-4, 6-7, (1) 6-3 win in two hours and 52 minutes as he put India ahead in the first-round tie.

In the second singles, a defensive Somdev was locked in an engrossing battle against an offensive Ti Chen, in which both have won two sets apiece and fifth set was tied 7-7 after four hours and 30 minutes of tennis.

When bad light stopped play, the score was 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-2, 7-7.

Somdev has squandered four match points, including three in the ninth game of the deciding set, so far and Chen has kept his side’s hopes alive to level the tie with his fighting spirit.

Captain Anand Amritraj, when asked if Somdev played too defensive, said, “It’s a bit difficult for him to get out of that mindset. He can grind but it’s not possible against a guy who is going for broke. I told him to hit hard but he was just pushing the ball around. I don’t think he will sleep well.”

There was hardly any contest in the opening singles as Yuki hit winner after winner with superb control over his shots and even when he suffered the injury and was limping, Yang failed to take advantage.