Davis Cup: Prajnesh, Ramkumar lose as Italy take 2-0 lead over India

first_img Indo-Asian News Service KolkataFebruary 1, 2019UPDATED: February 1, 2019 15:34 IST Davis Cup: Prajnesh Gunneswaran was handed a straight sets loss vs Matteo Berrettini. (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSIndia’s top-ranked singles player Prajnesh lost 4-6, 3-6 to Matteo BerrettiniRamkumar was defeated by Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-2Italy lead India in Davis Cup qualifier tie 2-0Rising star Matteo Berrettini defeated India’s top ranked player Prajnesh Gunneswaran in straight sets to hand former champions Italy a 2-0 lead in the second rubber of the Davis Cup World Group qualifier tie here on Friday.Earlier, Andreas Seppi made short work of Ramkumar Ramanathan (6-4, 6-2) to give Italy the lead on the grass courts at the Calcutta South Club.Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan now have to pick up a win against Marco Cecchinato and Simone Bolelli in the doubles match on Saturday for the hosts to keep the tie alive.Berrettini, who was preferred ahead of top-ranked Marco Cecchinato to play the singles, won 6-4, 6-3 in convincing fashion.Italy in front!Mateo Berrettini seals a lead for Italy 64 63.20 pic.twitter.com/MxSxRuGwg7Davis Cup (@DavisCup) February 1, 2019The tone was set from the beginning as Berrettini, World No 53 in singles ranking, took the lead with an early break in the first game of the first set.In the second game, the 22-year old Berrettini, who is making his Davis Cup debut, saved a break point to hold his serve and extend the lead.Prajnesh, ranked at a career best of 102, slowly eased into the match by staying within sight of Berrettini at 4-3.Both players looked good on the serve but the gulf in class was visible towards the end of the first set when the Italian saved a game point with a wonderful lob over Prajnesh who responded well on the next point with an unbeatable crosscourt forehand to hold his serve at 5-4.advertisementServing for the set, Berrrettini wrapped it up in style without dropping a point.Berrrettini started the second set like the first, breaking Prajnesh to take a 1-0 lead. Prajnesh tried hard to make a comeback and even saved two break points to make it 4-3.But Berrettini, whose returns sent Prajnesh to all corners of the court, proved too strong for the Indian, winning the game by breaking his opponent in the final game.Earlier, Ramanathan, ranked 133rd in the world, got off to a decent start but failed to captitalize on two break points in the first set which was closely fought till 4-4 before the 37th ranked Seppi used his reservoir of experience to down his much younger opponent.Love and hugs all round for Team Italy.10#DavisCupQualifiers #INDITA pic.twitter.com/chF8zaWPOgDavis Cup (@DavisCup) February 1, 2019It was an Italian gamble to name Seppi their first player ahead of World No. 19 Marco Cecchinato, who had ousted World No. 1 Novak Djokovic from the French Open quarters last year.The 34-year-old, who is not used to playing on grass, took time to get used to the surface but once he did the tie became a lopsided affair.At 5-4, Seppi won four points in a row to seal the first set in style.In the second set, the Italian toyed with Ramkumar hitting clinical forehands (17 winners) even as the lanky Chennai player tried to forge a comeback in the third game.The big-serving Ramanathan hit eight aces but paid the price for his inconsistency with six double faults as opposed to Seppi’s two.Also Read | Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ankita Raina rise to career-best in ATP rankingsAlso Read | Mahesh Bhupathi stresses on singles players winning Davis Cup ties for IndiaFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow Prajnesh GunneswaranFollow Ramkumar RamanathanFollow Matteo BerrettiniFollow Andreas SeppiFollow Davis Cup Davis Cup: Prajnesh, Ramkumar lose as Italy take 2-0 lead over IndiaPrajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan lost their singles matches to Matteo Berrettini and Andreas Seppi, respectively, as India fell 2-0 behind to Italy in Davis Cup World Group qualifier tie.advertisement Nextlast_img read more