Somdev Devvarman India
Somdev Devvarman was disappointing for India in the first singles of the day against Michael Venus.Reuters

India started their Davis Cup Group 1 Asia-Oceania second-round tie against New Zealand on a disappointing note when Somdev Devvarman lost the first singles match to Michael Venus.

The loss was a huge shock to the Indian team, who are considered favourites to clinch their World Group play-offs berth. Fortunately, Yuki Bhambri gave reasons for India to cheer by defeating Jose Rubin Statham in the second singles to level the tie at 1-1 on Saturday.

Though the first game saw Devvarman losing to Michael Venus, it was an entertaining game played for over 320 minutes. This might have drained out both the players, but they have a day rest on Saturday as they prepare for their Sunday reverse singles.

The first two sets were quite an easy game for the Indian, but Venus came back with some good local support to win the last three sets.

Somdev Devvarman needs to thank Yuki Bhambri, who came up with a comfortable victory over New Zealand's top ranked player, Jose Rubin Statham, in straight sets.

Yuki Bhambri was on top of his game, defeating Statham in straight sets, with the score reading 6-2, 6-1 and 6-3.

The Indian came up with some dazzling display of tennis, his returns was top class. Bhambri needs to come up with a similar game on Sunday when he faces Michael Venus, who will be confident after defeating Devvarman. The Indian had come into the Davis Cup confident after clinching the Challenger title in the US.

Devvarman might be hurt with this loss against Venus, who is ranked 548th in the world, hence, Devvarman is expected to come out all guns blazing in his reverse singles clash on Sunday.

Both the Indian players will be supporting the doubles pair of Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myneni, who take on Marcus Daniell and Artem Sitak in the doubles competition on Saturday with the hope of taking a 2-1 lead in the tie.