The Davis Cup qualifiers battle between India and Croatia at the later’s capital city of Zagreb progresses as expected, as the underdog Indian team currently trails 0-2 to the heavyweight home brigade. Although India lost the two matches, they sure showed some fire and soul and didn’t simply submit to their giant opponents.
The match of the day was India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan facing Croatia’s Martin Cilic. In a tough battle which ended in a runtime of two hours and twelve minutes, Cilic, who in men’s singles is ranked number 37 in the world defeated his opponent 7-6 (8), 7-6 (8).
Even when facing an opponent far above him in fame, stats and ranking, Ramanathan played a fearless game which consisted of some explosive serves. It led to Cilic being forced to play his best game. There was no break of serve in the match, showing that the margin of defeat was very fine indeed. Ramkumar seemed solid with his game as he continuously stroked well from the baseline to make deep returns and also served and volleyed to shake Cilic to the core.
Earlier, Borna Gojo, considered a potential weak link in the insanely strong Croatian line-up, defeated India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran. Gojo, ranked 277th, had not won a singles match in Davis Cup before this singles encounter. Prajnesh took the first set in 39 minutes home but then faltered, leading to Gojo grasping continuous sets and, as a result, the match. The match ended 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in Gojo’s favour. According to experts, Gojo handled the pressure far better than the Indian, and thus won from an disadvantageous situation. After losing a set, he kept on coming to the net and stayed aggresive, slowly breaking Prajnesh’s morale, which showed during the third set, which Gojo won without much trouble.
Now, this Saturday, India must win all of the remaining three matches to qualify for the Davis Cup finals.