Rohan Bopanna defeated Ricardo Mello in straight sets to seal a 3-2 victory for India over Brazil in their World Group play-off om Chennai. The 30-year-old doubles specialist won 63 76(2) 63 in just over two hours to inspire celebrations among the home supporters.
Earlier India drew level with Brazil the easy way when Thomaz Bellucci conceded the first of the reverse singles to Somdev Devvarman midway through the second set.
The Indian won 76(3) 4-0 when his opponent retired due to dehydration in the soaring Chennai heat. The final reverse singles between Rohan Bopanna and Ricardo Mello will now decide which team will play in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group next year.
The intense heat and humidity obviously got to Brazil’s top-ranked player, who was on court for four-and-a-half hours on Friday against Rohan Bopanna. It looked as though the first five-setter had taken it out of the Brazilian, even though he did manage to take Devvarman to a first set tie break, which went the way of the Indian.
Devvarman was always in command in the tie break, racing out to a commanding 5-1 lead before closing it out comfortably.
The extended set seemed to have taken a lot out of Bellucci who dropped his opening service game in the second set. Trailing 3-0, he received medical attention but was clearly in discomfort. Devvarman broke his service again for a 4-0 lead whereupon the Brazilian threw in the towel.
India entered to the elite Davis Cup World Group by scripting a sensational 3-2 win over Brazil in the play-off tie on Sunday, Sep 19. They were forced into the play-offs after losing to Russia 2-3 in the World Group first round in Moscow in Mar 2010.