New Delhi, Feb 1 — India’s non-playing Davis Cup captain Shiv Prakash Misra Friday said he expected a 1-1 result on the first day of their Asia/Oceania Group I first round tie here against South Korea as the visitors took a 2-0 lead.
Mirsa was all praise for debutant Vijayant Malik (537), who put on a valiant fight against Suk-Young Jeong, ranked 321, but conceded the match due to severe cramps in his left leg.
“It was disappointing. I expected a 1-1 result on the first day. Vijayant played a great game but unfortunately he suffered a severe cramp in his left leg. It was great to see Vijayant fight back against a higher-ranked player and match him with every shot,” Misra told IANS.
Misra said India’s hopes were now on Saturday’s doubles when Leander Paes and Purav Raja take on Yong-Kyu Lim and Ji Sung Nam.
Asked where another debutant Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan erred, Misra said: “He was under pressure. The Korean player made the best use of long rallies. Ranjeet failed to execute his game. He was down all the way.”
Min-Hyeok Cho beat Ranjeet 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 on the hardcourts of the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium.
“I thought I played a decent match but he was extraordinary. I started feeling better as the match went on, unlike the scoreline suggests. I tried my best but he was way better,” Ranjeet, ranked 511, said in the post-match press conference.
“At the start, I had butterflies in my stomach, this being my first ever Davis Cup match while my opponent already has Davis Cup experience. So he is familiar with the conditions and atmosphere.”
Ranjeet added that he tried to mix up things up but they proved futile in front of the 26-year-old Korean.
“I played good shots but he had better passes. He had a return for every shot of mine. There are days when things just don’t work for you and this was one of them. I don’t feel bad because I thought I played well but he was just way better.
“I tried to mix it up you know; give lobs, drops but nothing worked. He also played some unbelievable passes. I will try my best and work on my serve for the reverse singles Sunday,” added the 27-year-old who plays his reverse singles match against Suk-Young Jeong.
Cho said that he expected the match to be tougher considering Ranjeet was a higher-ranked player.
“It was a little bit easier than what I had expected. Since my opponent was ranked higher than me I tried to play longer and extend the match trying to give my best on every point. I was a little bit nervous in the beginning but once I settled down I forced Ranjeet to commit errors,” he said.