New Delhi, Feb 2 — Indian tennis player Leander Paes said Saturday that the amount of time he and Purav Raja invested in practice in the last two years was the essence of their doubles victory over South Korea in the Davis Cup here Saturday.
Paes and Raja beat Lim Yong-Kyu and Ji Sung Nam 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-2 in two-and-a-half hours in a Group I Asia/Oceania first round tie here at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium. South Korea currently lead the tie 2-1.
“I got to compliment Purav. He played very well; he returned and served well. He was nervous in the beginning but I am happy we won the match,” said Paes.
The multiple Grand Slam champion said the key to their success was the amount of time they have spent practicing together over the last two years.
“I think the reason for our success today was that we have been practicing for the last two years. Every time both of us are in Mumbai, Purav makes it a point to play with me. I think this was the essence of our success. Also, we clicked together in the tie-break because we played 11 tie-breaks in the last four days in practice,” said Paes.
Paes said the turning point of the match was in the second set tie-breaker.
“I think we started really well and overall the match went pretty smooth. The turning point of the match was at the end of the second set where my serve was broken at 5-5 and then we broke back to enter the tie-break. And then again in the tie-breaker when we came back from 0-3 down to win the set,” he said
Non-playing captain Shiv Prakash Misra said that Vijayant Malik, who retired hurt in the second singles game Friday, is fit to play the all-important reverse singles Sunday.
“Vijayant was already fine yesterday and will play the reverse singles tomorrow. Purav performed really well. Playing with Paes was never going to be easy but he performed really well,” said Misra.
V.M. Ranjeet will play Suk-Young Jeong while Malik will take on Min Cho in the reverse singles Sunday.