There was no Rafael Nadal in the opening day of the Davis Cup World Group playoff between India and Spain, but the visitors put up an emphatic display to take a healthy 2-0 lead at the RK Khanna Tennis Complex in New Delhi. Spain's Feliciano Lopez, David Ferrer emerged victorious in their respective match against Ramkumar Ramanathan and Saketh Myneni on Friday.
Lopez, 34, who won the French Open men's doubles championship earlier this year, started brilliantly and took the first match 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. The first game of the match was won by the Indian and it was a neck-to-neck competition between the two only until the fourth set, after which the experienced Spaniard played some of his masterful forehands to slowly gain momentum and clinch the first set 6-4.
Ramanathan tried to make a comeback of sorts in the second set after he tried to play some of the better shots from his arsenal, but couldn't live up to the domination by Lopez, who once again comfortably won the second set 6-4 in 34 minutes.
Battling through a minor knee injury in the third set, the 21-year-old Indian did all the talking with his forehands to lead 4-3 at one point. Thereon, the Chennai lad upped the ante and swept away the third set with a 6-3 score and the stadium reverberated with cheers.
The fourth set was all about Lopez as he completely outclassed the Indian and used his forehands and backhands to perfection to record a 6-1 score.
With India trailing 0-1, there was serious need for Myneni to draw the tie level, but Ferrer did not give an inch to the home player in the second singles. Ferrer won the match in in straight sets, score reading 6-1, 6-2, 6-1. The Spaniard, who is known for his amazing skills, proved his class with a wonderful game from the baseline. Ferrer's class was too much for Myneni to handle as the Indian star failed to come up with an A game, which could have tested the Spaniard.
After taking the first set in cruising style, Ferrer continued his impressive ways and dominated the next two sets as well to win the match, and hand Spain the all-important 2-0 lead.