Leander Paes achieves Davis Cup World Record in China

Last Updated: Sat, Apr 07, 2018 14:12 hrs
leander paes and mahesh bhupathi

Image tweeted by @rohanbopanna

Leander Paes, in partnership with Rohan Bopanna, achieved a hard-fought victory over China's Mao-Xin Gong and Ze Zhang in three sets in the Asia-Oceania Group 1 Davis Cup tie in Tianjin on Saturday.

With this victory, the former doubles World No. 1 player surpassed Nicola Pietrangeli's 42 record wins to set a new World Record in Davis Cup.

After losing the opening set 7-5, the visiting duo came from behind in the next two sets to win it both in tie-breakers to keep India alive in the tie.

The experienced Indian team clinched the doubles rubber 5-7, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3).

It was a landmark moment for the 44-year-old Paes as he's now the the most successful player in the history of the tennis competition.

It was a complete turnaround following the doubles win. First, Ramkumar Ramanathan defeated Wu Di in straight sets 7-6(4),6-3 in the first reverse singles.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran later quelled Wu Yibing's challenge in the deciding rubber 6-4, 6-2 to guide India to a 3-2 victory in the tie.

Earlier on Friday, India suffered shock defeats when Ramkumar and Sumit Nagal lost their singles matches on the opening day.

Ramanathan lost the first singles 6-7(4) 4-6 to China's Yibing Wu, failing to lead the team in the absence of in-form Yuki Bhambri, who skipped the tie due to a minor abdomen injury.

The 18-year-old Chinese, who was junior world number one till very recently and won both singles and doubles junior US Open titles in 2017, dropped serve in the first game only to immediately break back and eventually take the set via tie-breaker.

Ramkumar had two break opportunties in the second set but could convert none and dropped serve once to let the home side take a 1-0 lead.

Young Nagal then failed to bring India back in the tie losing 4-6, 1-6 to Ze Zhang, ranked 247 in just 67 minutes.

India have managed to win a Davis Cup tie from being down 0-2 only once prior to this, in 2010 when they beat Brazil in Chennai with Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi winning the doubles rubber and Somdev Devvarman and Bopanna producing thrilling victories on the last day.

With IANS Inputs