Davis Cup 2022, India vs Norway: Ruud beats Gunneswaran; Durasovic downs Ramkumar

In an entertaining match, the 32-year-old Prajnesh, a former top-75 player did show that he had the game, but the world No.2 Ruud was a class apart.

Casper Ruud of Norway in action. (File Photo)

Casper Ruud of Norway in action. (File Photo) | Photo Credit: AP

In an entertaining match, the 32-year-old Prajnesh, a former top-75 player did show that he had the game, but the world No.2 Ruud was a class apart.

Casper Ruud gave a rousing start for Norway, beating Prajnesh Gunneswaran, and Viktor Durasovic made it 2-0 by by playing an inspired game to beat Ramkumar Ramanathan. Norway won both the matches 6-1, 6-4.

The host was quite purposeful in its approach, and adapted well to the conditions, in taking a 2-0 lead in the Davis Cup World Group tie at the Hakons Hall, Lillehammer, on Friday.

It was dynamic start, as Ruud out-gunned Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-1, 6-4 in just over an hour, in the opening singles.

In an entertaining match, the 32-year-old Prajnesh, a former top-75 player did show that he had the game, but the world No.2 Ruud was a class apart.

Playing his first match after the US Open final against Carlos Alcaraz last Sunday, Ruud looked to be continuing from where he had left. The change of pace of the indoor court, did not bother him, as he raced on his swift legs to execute precision strokes with a high degree of consistency.

In contrast, Prajnesh was unable to sustain his high quality game for long, even though he did a commendable job of staying in the rally, many a time.

Ranked a modest 335, Prajnesh did give a good account of himself against the 23-year-old Ruud who has had a phenomenal season, making the French Open final on clay, before the sterling fare on the hard courts in New York.

With nothing to lose, and with slim chances of improving on his 3-6 win-loss record in Davis Cup, the Chennai left-hander came out swinging, and enjoyed his time on court against one of the very best in the world.

The Indian plans of going after the No.2 player went up in smoke, as Durasovic played a vibrant game, sustaining the pressure built by Ruud, to put India on the back foot.

India will need a miracle to get past Norway on the second day, which will start with the doubles.

The results:

Norway leads India 2-0 (Casper Ruud bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-1, 6-4; Viktor Durasovic bt Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-1, 6-4)

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