Davis Cup: Sumit Nagal leads fightback, scripts India comeback

Lucknow, (UNI) Sumit Nagal defeated Adam Moundir 6-3, 6-3 in straight sets to lead India’s fightback as they drew 1-1 parity against Morocco on Day 1 of the Davis Cup World Group II tie at the Vijayant Khand Mini Stadium here on Saturday.

Sumit took on big-serving Adam Moundir in the second singles match after Sasikumar Mukund was forced to concede in the opener against Yassine Dlimi earlier in the day.

Fortunes changed hands a couple of times in the first set between the two players. Sumit broke Moundir in the fifth game to go up 3-2. The Moroccan was quick to bounce back right in the next game to tie the scores at 3-3. Sumit broke him again in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead.

Sumit held his serve in the eighth game to consolidate his lead to 5-3. Beginning with a double fault and some powerful forehands from Sumit saw Moundir commit some unforced errors as Sumit bagged the first set 6-3.

Moundir did not pose a big threat to the 26-year-old Indian who came up with some big serves and forehand strokes to claim the set and the match 6-3, 6-3.

In the first match, debutant Sasikumar Mukund, suffering from cramps due to extreme humid conditions at the venue, conceded the opening singles to Yassine Dlimi.

Mukund, ranked 365, did not take his chances on offer, and could not bounce back after cramps started to bother him and it became very difficult to move across the court to take on No. 557 player.

The Indian player retired after battling out for 3 hours and 8 minutes. He had taken a medical timeout when he was trailing 1-2 in the third set, and finally conceded at 1-4, after winning the first set 7-6 and losing the second 5-7.

Mukund started his campaign nervously, and was in a spot of bother in the fifth game but came back strongly with a forehand winner to square at 30-all. The Indian held the 26-shot rally, but conceded the ninth to Dlimi.

The match extended to a tiebreaker where Mukund raced past Dlimi 4-1, capitalising on Morocco’s unforced errors. Ultimately Dlimi lost the set, hitting a forehand long after saving the first set point.

Dlimi started off the second set poorly by dropping his first serve in the very first game. Soon Mukund was 3-1 leading the Moroccon, but spilled the chance of extending 4-1 lead as his rival saved two break points in the fifth game.

From the 8th game onwards, Mukund started to grimace with pain and lost his first serve, and soon the set was on par at 4-4. Dlimi wrapped up the set in the 12th game.

After this loss, it is up to India’s number one singles player Sumit Nagal to bring the team back into reckoning. He is playing Adam Moundir in the second singles.

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