Yuki Bhambri fought back from the brink of defeat to script a stunning five-set win over New Zealand’s Daniel King Turner to give India a 1-0 lead in the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group I relegation play-off tie here today.
Conditions were gloomy when the match started after a 90-minute rain delay and Yuki’s fortunes looked no better as he stared at a humiliating defeat after being down by two sets.
However, the Indian turned it around dramatically to score a 3-6 0-6 6-2 6-4 6-2 win after battling it out for three hours and 15 minutes at the CLTA tennis stadium.
Vishnu Vardhan will now take on Kiwi number one Jose Statham in the second singles.
Yuki seemed in complete disarray to start with but the 20-year-old scripted a complete turnaround after being left humiliated in the second set.
The Indian slowed down the pace of the game by engaging his Kiwi rival in long rallies. The sting in the serve was back, errors were curtailed and most importantly Yuki snatched the momentum from Turner, whose patience ran out in the face of the crowd favourite’s perseverance.
Successive breaks in game five and seven handed Yuki a 5-2 cushion, and he served out the third set after saving a breakpoint in the next game.