Image Credit: Indian Tennis Daily/Twitter

India has been demoted to World Group 2 of the Davis Cup for the first time since 2019 after falling to Denmark 3-1 in a playoff match.

After losing the playoff match 2-3 against Denmark on Saturday, the Indian Davis Cup team has been demoted to World Group II for the first time since the new format. Holger Rune, the world’s ninth-ranked player, carried Denmark by himself, winning three games for the hosts to derail India’s campaign at the Davis Cup.

With the score tied at 1-1 after Friday’s matches, India needed to win the doubles, but Yuki Bhambri and Rohan Bopanna fell to Rune and Johannes Inglidsen of the host side 2-6, 4-6 in 65 minutes. Here is a complete recap of India’s performance at the 2023 Davis Cup.

Sumit Nagal leads India’s comeback on Friday

Image Credit: Sumit Nagal/ Twitter

Yuki Bhambri, a former top-100 player in the ATP Rankings, was defeated 6-2, 6- 2 by world No. 9 Holger Rune in the opening match, which put the Indian tennis team on the defensive against the hosts Denmark.

Holger Rune, who defeated tennis legend Novak Djokovic to win the Paris Masters in November, outplayed Bhambri on the indoor hard courts at the Royal Stage Stadium.
The Indian tennis player had brief moments of success but lost the match in 58 minutes after being clubbed twice in each set.

Sumit Nagal got the worst possible start against August Holmgren, who is ranked 484th in the world, in the second match on Friday, when he was shattered in the first game without recording a point. From then on, the Indian tennis player played longer rallies and forced a few mistakes out of his Danish opponent. While Nagal had six breakpoint opportunities, he only won one and lost the first set.

Sumit Nagal made a fantastic comeback in the second set by completely breaking his opponent, especially in games four and six to force a decider. Both players struggled at times to break early in the third set, but Sumit Nagal, who was injured for a significant portion of the 2022 season, appeared fitter than the Danish player. Sumit ultimately won the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 after saving the vital break point in the fifth game.

Rune and Ingildsen crushed Bopanna and Bhambri to make things worse for India

Bopanna and Bhambri partnered with each other to face Rune and Johannes Ingildsen, Even though they were the more skilled and accomplished team, they were defeated in straight sets. After winning four straight games to start the match, Rune and Ingildsen never looked back for the remainder of the first set.

The Indian team was broken early in the second set as well, but they managed to claw their way back into the match by hitting back right away. They failed to keep up the momentum, though, as the Danish pair served it out for a 6-2, 6-4 victory after that.

Rune exacts revenge on Nagal to send Denmark to Group 1

Nagal broke Rune’s serve in the fifth game of the opening set with a powerful forehand and effective attacking strategies, but after that, Nagal lost steam as Rune adopted new strategies to win three games in a row to secure the first set.

Nagal promptly broke Rune’s serve in the first game of the second set, but he was unable to capitalize on two break points. From that point on, Rune did not look back, winning the final tie match by scores of 7-5, 6-3, relegating the opposition, and advancing Denmark to World Group 1.

Stan Wawrinka Helps Switzerland Reach Davis Cup Finals

Stan Wawrinka, who is a few weeks away from turning 38, led Switzerland to the Davis Cup Finals group stage on Saturday by defeating Germany in a nail-biting match.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka defeated Daniel Altmaier 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to help Switzerland win the qualification match 3-2. Wawrinka, the former third-ranked player in the world, entered the competition for the first time in eight years. Following two surgeries, Wawrinka took a while to rebuild his career and is now ranked 135th.