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Bopanna demolish Dustov to give India 1-0 lead

New Delhi, Feb 8 (UNI) Taking full advantage of the under prepared grass court, Rohan Bopanna outplayed Farrukh Dustov 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 to give India 1-0 lead over Uzbekistan in the Group 1, Asia Oceania Davis cup tie at the R K Khanna Tennis stadium here today.

The 75 minute duel turned out to be a one sided affair with Uzbekistan's number two player finding himself clueless on the grass court.

Bopanna fired eight aces and committed three double faults as against his rival's five aces in a lackluster opening single.

Dustov's inexperience on this sort of court was evident from the very start as he struggled with his service and had a tough time in returning his rival's serves.

The 28-year-old gangling Indian did not have to work very hard for his victory as he realised his opponent's weakness who was not comfortable with the low bounce.

Dustov essentially a hard court player used to receive the ball on to the racquet, was in all sorts of trouble as he was not able to handle or generate his own pace.

To add to the Uzbek's woes was his failure to anticipate Bopanna's slow sliced returns and with no pace added to low bounce he found hard to tackle or return the ball.

Bopanna on the other hand seemed to relish the court and the chilly conditions. In the first set he won 20 straight points on his serve last of which was an ace at the set point.

The Indian broke Dustov in the sixth game of the first set and then played with the serve to win the first set 6-3 in 21 minutes.

Dustov looked visibly upset as he was not getting into his rhythm. Being a baseliner, he hardly rushed to the net and several times found himself stranded, as Bopanna's low returns went past him.

Also it looked that the Uzbek, ranked 253 in the World had some mental block about playing on the grass. There was no urgency in his play and as Bopanna began to increase his pressure, he simply caved in.

The Indian, ranked 288, was in full flow with his service and returns. He made few unforced errors but double faulted thrice when he tried to push hard with his service.

Bopanna broke Dustov in the 5th game of the second set and then displayed some stunning returns and volleys to the bewilderment of his rival and clinched the set 6-3, this time taking 28 minutes.

The third set turned out to be disastrous for Dustov as Bopanna accelerated the pressure. The Indian broke his rival in the second game and then held on to his serve when it went to deuce.

The Indian broke the Uzbek for the second time in this set in the sixth game to win the set 6-1 and the tie. The set lasted for 28 minutes.


Story first published: Friday, February 8, 2008, 14:19 [IST]
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