India beat Pakistan in Davis Cup as Paes-Jeevan join the party
India’s tennis stars picked up the baton from where they left off earlier, as the men’s doubles pair of Leander Paes and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan brushed the Pakistani duo of Muhammad Shoaib and Huzaifa Abdul Rehman (6-1, 6-3) in straight sets in the Davis Cup on Saturday.
The victory means that India have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in their Davis Cup clash against Pakistan in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and will advance to the next stage of the competition where they will face Croatia in March, 2020.
There was further joy for India as Sumit Nagal continued his superb run, winning his second singles tie against Shoaib in straight sets. The fifth inconsequential rubber between Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rehman was not played as India already had a 4-0 advantage.
Happy return for Leander
India’s 18-time Grand Slam winner Leander Paes, who missed the cut for the previous Davis Cup clash against Italy, announced his comeback to the team in some style as he and Nedunchezhiyan needed just 53 minutes to win their men’s doubles clash against Pakistan.
This victory also capped off a personal milestone for Paes, as he now has 44 doubles wins in the Davis Cup, surpassing the tally of Italian legend Nicola Pietrangeli.
In the third rubber, the Pakistani tennis players started well as they held their serve in the first game, but eventually succumbed to a significantly better ranked Indian team. Paes and Nedunchezhiyan won five games in a row, breaking the opponent’s serve twice to clinch the first set 6-1.
The Indian duo were a little more challenged in the second set, as Shoaib-Rehman held their serve for the first three games to have the score reading as 3-3. Paes and Nedunchezhiyan though were extremely clinical in their approach, and didn’t commit a single double fault in the second set.
The Indians’ superiority showed as they managed to break the Pakistani serve at the fourth time of asking, and following that, they didn’t concede a single game as they cruised through to a 6-3 victory. The win was enough to ensure India advance to the next round of the Davis Cup, where they will face Croatia.