Davis Cup 2019 Qualifier: India trails 0-2 against Italy

Follow live scores and updates from the Davis Cup 2019 qualifier between India and Italy.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran faces Matteo Berrettini in a singles match.   -  Manjunath Kiran

Welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the Davis Cup 2019 qualifier between India and Italy at the Calcutta South Club.

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Results

Andreas Seppi bt Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4, 6-2

Matteo Berrettini bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-4, 6-3

 

Tie score: India 0-2 Italy

Ramkumar lost in straight sets to Seppi and Prajnesh suffered a similar fate against Berrettini as Italy takes a 2-0 lead in the tie. Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan must pick up a win against Marco Cecchinato and Simone Bolelli in the doubles match tomorrow for India to keep the tie alive.

Tomorrow's fixtures:

Rohan Bopanna & Divij Sharan vs. Simone Bolelli & Marco Cecchinato (10.30 a.m.)

Prajnesh vs Seppi

Ramkumar vs. Berrettini

 

Rubber 2 - Prajnesh Gunneswaran vs Matteo Berrettini

Prajnesh

 

Berrettini

0

Aces

6

43/59 (73%)

First serve in

32/46 (70%)

100%

second serve in

100%

28/43 (65%)

1st serve points won

25/32 (78%)

7/16 (44%)

2nd serve points won

12/14 (86%)

244

Total points

61

5/10

net points won

2/8


1:50pm Berrettini wins!
Prajnesh's shot hits the nets and Matteo Berrettini also wins his match in straight sets (6-4, 6-3). Italy leads 2-0 in the tie and India needs to win its doubles rubber tomorrow to stay in the tie.

1:44pm Close one there! Prajnesh makes a strong comeback to save two break points. 4-3 to Berrettini.

Prajnesh is really having to work for points on his own serve. Berrettini's returns sends him to all corners of the court. A slip from the Italian helps Prajnesh bring the game to deuce. 

Earlier today

 

1:36pm Berrettini's return is long and Prajnesh holds to stay alive in the match, 2-3.  Another break could be tough to come back from.

1:33pm Berrettini wins the game to take a 3-1 lead. This one was pretty easy, setting up Prajnesh with some good serves and playing winners on the next shot.

1:30pm Prajnesh holds serve. He won the first three points easily but then looked shaky as he gave away the next two points to unforced errors. Berrettini still leads 2-1 and Prajnesh hasn't come close to breaking him yet.  This could get over earlier than expected.

1:28pm 2-0 to Berrettini as he easily holds his serve and Prajnesh is in trouble.

1:25pm Berrettini starts the second set exactly the way he started the first. Breaks Prajnesh to take a 1-0 lead in the second.

Prajnesh

First set

Berrettini

0

Aces

4

19/25 (76%)

First serve in

16/26 (62%)

100%

second serve in

100%

13/19 (68%)

1st serve points won

12/16 (75%)

4/6 (67%)

2nd serve points won

9/10 (90%)

22

Total points

29

4/6

net points won

0/2

 

 

1:20pm Matteo Berrettini wins that game without dropping a point and takes the first set 6-4.

1:17pm The Italian saves a game point with a wonderful lob over Prajnesh. But on the next point, Prajnesh matches that skill level with an unbeatable crosscourt forehand. He holds his serve. Berrettini leads 5-4 and serves for the set.

1:15pm Berrettini holds service once again and leads 5-3 in the first set. Both players are looking good on their serves.

1:11pm Prajnesh is slowly easing into the match. His serves are getting better and he holds to stay within sight of Berrettini. 4-3, Berrettini leads.

1:06pm Berrettini goes 3-1 up in the first set. Prajnesh gets a challenge wrong and is unable to get to a beautiful return from the Italian on the next point.

1:01pm This time Prajnesh keeps his serve, forcing his opponent into pulling his shot wide. Berrettini still leads 2-1 in the first set.

12:58pm Prajnesh takes the first two points off Berrettini's serve but the Italian fights back to bring the score to 40-30. Another unforced error from Berrettini takes the game to deuce but he saves a break point to hold his serve. Italy 2-0 up in the first set.

12:55pm Matteo Berrettini with an early break and takes the lead 1-0 in the first set.

In other news from the Davis Cup:

  • La Liga has agreed a deal to become an official sponsor of the Davis Cup Finals for the next four years.
  • India’s non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi said home comfort and the X-factor of Calcutta South Club’s grasscourts hold India in good stead in the tie against Italy.
  • New-look Davis Cup set for litmus test.
  • The removal of five-set matches and major changes to the schedule of the Davis Cup have been branded as ridiculous by Lleyton Hewitt.

 

Rubber 1 - Ramkumar Ramanathan vs Andreas Seppi

12:22pm Andreas Seppi defeats Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4, 6-2 in the first match and gives Italy a 1-0 lead in the tie.

12:18pm Seppi breaks again and goes 5-2 up in the second set. He looks way more assured than he was in the first set. Ramkumar has been forced into many errors and made a few on his own as well.  Seppi serves for the match.

12:11pm Ramkumar comes up with the goods when needed. Seppi got a double break point but the Indian managed to hold on. With big serves he unsettled the Italian who hit a forehand long as Ramkumar wins the game. Seppi still leads 3-2.

 

12:01pm Seppi breaks again. He goes 2-1 up in the second set. Ramkumar is trapped at the net as Seppi hits a double-handed shot across the court with pinpoint accuracy.

11:59am The Italian looks more comfortable in the second set. His shots are staying within the lines and he's able to judge the bounce better too. He wins the second game to level the second set 1-1.

11:52am Seppi wins the first set 6-4. Ramkumar Ramanathan looked dominant for most of the set as Seppi was still finding his feet on the grass. But mistakes in the penultimate game gifted the Italian the break and the world no 37's experience came into play as he expertly held serve to win the first set.

11:45am Seppi breaks Ramkumar to lead 5-4 in the first set. He started off quite well but the double faults on serves let him down. He fumbles two game points as Seppi looks to be slowly getting used to the surface.

Seppi, who's looked unsure of the surface plays a great return to Ramkumar's drop at the net and its another break point to the Italian.

Double-fault on game point from Ramkumar and its deuce. Another double fault gives Seppi break point. But a great serve down the line from the Indian brings in back to deuce.

11:42am It's 4-4 in the first set as Seppi saves a break point and closes out the game with an ace.

11:39am Ramkumar gets on his toes to play a beautiful forehand return on Seppi's serve and it beats the Italian. On the next poitn, Seppi hits an easy forehand long and deuce. Chance to break for India.

11:33am Seppi is having trouble dealing with Ramkumar's serves, especially on the backhand. With some clever play at the net, the Indian takes the game to 4-3 up. He served two aces in that game.

 

11:27am Ramkumar came close to breaking his opponent, but Seppi stays strong and forces Ramkumar into an error and levels the set 2-2. Ramkumar's posing a good challenge to the world no. 37 Italian.

11:23am No early breaks yet. Seppi wins his first service game and Ramkumar, with an ace goes up 2-1 in the set. Bhupathi's out there talking to the 24-year-old.

11:14am Ramkumar Ramanathan sets the ball rolling for India as he holds his serve to win the first game.

India begins its Davis Cup Qualifiers with a tie against Italy on the grass courts at the Calcutta South Club.

Should the seeping history inspire the Indians to climb out of the zonal level and get back among the elite, it will be a story befitting India’s rich Davis Cup past.

PREVIEW | Davis Cup: Will India’s grass gamble pay off?

Ramkumar Ramanathan will face Andreas Seppi in the opening singles match today, followed by another singles between Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Matteo Berrettini. The remaining three rubbers will be played on Saturday.

Head-to-head record: India 1-4 Italy

In five previous meetings in the Davis Cup, Italy has won four out of five. Three wins came on clay and one on grass, while India's solitary win in a tie came on grass in 1985 in Calcutta. Their most recent meeting was in 1998. Italy won that tie in Genoa 4-1.

Fixtures

Friday (Feb. 1): Ramkumar Ramanathan vs. Andreas Seppi (11 a.m.), followed by Prajnesh Gunneswaran vs. Matteo Berrettini.

Saturday (Feb. 2): Rohan Bopanna & Divij Sharan vs. Simone Bolelli & Marco Cecchinato (10.30 a.m.), followed by Prajnesh vs Seppi & Ramkumar vs. Berrettini.