New Delhi, February 6: Doubles pair of Yuki Bhambri-Saketh Myneni and Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha won their respective matches against their Pakistani rivals to give India a dominating 4-0 win over the hosts in the play-off tie in Islamabad and moved entry into the Davis Cup 2024 World Group I on Sunday

Going into Day 2 with a 2-0 lead, India’s Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni overcame a late challenge from Aqeel Khan and Muzammil Murtaza in the doubles match to seal the tie.

The Indian pair outplayed the Pakistani duo in a two-hour encounter to register a 6-2, 7(7)-6(6) victory. This is India’s eighth straight victory against Pakistan in Davis Cup tennis.

Pakistan had replaced Barkatullah with Aqeel Khan for the all-important doubles match. However, this hardly had an impact on the Indians who displayed their intent right in the first game of the first set when they broke the Pakistanis to take 1-0 lead. Bhambri-Myneni then raced to a 4-1 lead after breaking the opponents in the fifth game.

The Pakistani duo saved two set points to pull back the seventh game but couldn’t stop the Indians from clinching the first set in 26 minutes.

The Pakistanis fought vigorously in the second set, holding their serve with better coordination. The rival pairs held their respective serves without dropping a point in the second and third game. The opposition resistance forced the match into the tie-breaker. Despite conceding a 2-0 lead early, the Pakistani team clawed its way back into the contest taking four consecutive points in the tie-break to sit comfortably at 4-2. Thereafter, the Indians conceded just one point and bagged the remaining five points to post victory in the match and an entry into the Davis Cup World Group I, scheduled for September.

In the fourth match, Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha secured a straight set 6-3, 6-4 win over Muhammad Shoaib. This match was scheduled to be played between Ramkumar Ramanathan and Aqeel Khan but the lineup was changed.

Meanwhile, the dead rubber between Sriram Balaji and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi did not take place and the tie ended 4-0 in India’s favour. This was the Indian Davis Cup team’s first visit to Pakistan since 1964.

On the opening day of the Davis Cup World Group I play-off tie, Ramkumar Ramanathan had beaten Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi 6(7)-7(3), 7(7)-6(4), 6-0, while Sriram Balaji provided straight sets 7-5, 6-3 win against Aqeel Khan.


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