India’s senior-most tennis player Rohan Bopanna said that the team is extremely happy after fetching a comprehensive 4-0 win over Denmark in the Davis Cup World Group 1 Playoff tie here on Saturday.
The 42-year-old Bopanna added that going into the doubles with 2-0 up took off pressure from him as well as his partner Divij Sharan.
“We started well in the doubles. Divij and I both served well. But the match was very close. We saved three-match points in the second set. Divij was playing well, serving well but in the end I think he made a mistake and that put pressure on him. Luckily Frederik Nielsen made some mistakes and we came back in the game,” he said after the match.
Asked about the best team combination for the Davis Cup, Bopanna said, “Wins like this give us belief. I think the biggest thing is to work as a team. Sometimes you know it lacks. It does not matter that you are in the higher or lower in the rank, I think if we have good energy and good camaraderie in the team that is what pulls you through these matches.”
After the win an elated India captain Rohit Rajpal lauded the team’s efforts, saying the most experienced Bopanna played extremely well at the crucial moment of the match.
“He is the most experienced in the team. He knows how to handle pressure and most importantly, he made sure that his partner did not make mistakes in the pressure situations. We were up against a decent opponent. He was Wimbledon champion, he knows grass courts, but at the end we are through. That is important for us,” he said.
Speaking about the hosts’ brilliant campaign, Rajpal credited Bopanna and Sharan’s strategy to mix up their serves to flummox the Danes. “We were mixing our serves and I was telling Rohan again and again to mix which worked in our favour. I am pretty happy with the team. Ramkumar is always there and it’s good to have Yuki back in our squad. Against Finland, the game was close but against Croatia, it was closer. The team’s think tank comprising Zeeshan Ali, Rohan and I had prepared well for this tie and I am happy that it all went well for us.”
Asked about Ramkumar Ramanathan singles match in which he was one set down and struggling against the lowly-ranked player, Rajpal said, “Ram knows how to handle pressure. Yes he was down, but came back strongly. That is the sign of a good player.”
India’s coach Zeeshan Ali expressed happiness over the team’s performance. “Every player is different…Rohan is good at serve; Divij doesn’t have that strong serve but they always combine well. The idea was to get advantage from those big serves. The two played a solid tie-breaker in the third set. The shot of the match was Rohan’s backhand volley.”