Namangan (Uzbekistan): India got off to a worst possible start in their Asia Ocenia Group I Davis Cup tie, losing both the singles matches against Uzbekistan, who took a 2-0 lead here on Friday.
Rookies Sanam Singh, 24, and the 20-year-old Yuki Bhambri lost their singles matches in straight sets against Denis Istomin and Farrukh Dustov respectively in what turned out to be lop-sided contests. To stay alive in the tie, India will again have to depend on their seasoned doubles pair of Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna to pull one back so that reverse singles matches will remain consequential.
Uzbeks got off the blocks in style as their top-ranked player Istomin defeated debutant Sanam in straight sets 6-3 6-2 6-4 to give the hosts 1-0 lead. The tie, which is being held at the Sports Complex in Pahlavon, saw world No 43 Istomin dominating right from the start to register an easy win. In another match, world No 262 Dustov beat Bhambri 6-4 6-4 6-3.
For the inexperienced Sanam, making his Davis Cup debut, facing a Top-50 player on clay court was always going to be a difficult proposition as he surrendered meekly to 25-year-old Uzbek, who has recently defeated American Andy Roddick in an ATP event in the United States.