Davis Cup: Prajnesh, Ramkumar lose as Italy take 2-0 lead over India

first_imgRising star Matteo Berrettini defeated India’s top ranked player Prajnesh Gunneswaran in straight sets to hand former champions Italy a 2-0 lead in the second rubber of the Davis Cup World Group qualifier tie here on Friday.Earlier, Andreas Seppi made short work of Ramkumar Ramanathan (6-4, 6-2) to give Italy the lead on the grass courts at the Calcutta South Club.Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan now have to pick up a win against Marco Cecchinato and Simone Bolelli in the doubles match on Saturday for the hosts to keep the tie alive.Berrettini, who was preferred ahead of top-ranked Marco Cecchinato to play the singles, won 6-4, 6-3 in convincing fashion.Italy in front!Mateo Berrettini seals a lead for Italy 64 63.20 pic.twitter.com/MxSxRuGwg7Davis Cup (@DavisCup) February 1, 2019The tone was set from the beginning as Berrettini, World No 53 in singles ranking, took the lead with an early break in the first game of the first set.In the second game, the 22-year old Berrettini, who is making his Davis Cup debut, saved a break point to hold his serve and extend the lead.Prajnesh, ranked at a career best of 102, slowly eased into the match by staying within sight of Berrettini at 4-3.Both players looked good on the serve but the gulf in class was visible towards the end of the first set when the Italian saved a game point with a wonderful lob over Prajnesh who responded well on the next point with an unbeatable crosscourt forehand to hold his serve at 5-4.advertisementServing for the set, Berrrettini wrapped it up in style without dropping a point.Berrrettini started the second set like the first, breaking Prajnesh to take a 1-0 lead. Prajnesh tried hard to make a comeback and even saved two break points to make it 4-3.But Berrettini, whose returns sent Prajnesh to all corners of the court, proved too strong for the Indian, winning the game by breaking his opponent in the final game.Earlier, Ramanathan, ranked 133rd in the world, got off to a decent start but failed to captitalize on two break points in the first set which was closely fought till 4-4 before the 37th ranked Seppi used his reservoir of experience to down his much younger opponent.Love and hugs all round for Team Italy.10#DavisCupQualifiers #INDITA pic.twitter.com/chF8zaWPOgDavis Cup (@DavisCup) February 1, 2019It was an Italian gamble to name Seppi their first player ahead of World No. 19 Marco Cecchinato, who had ousted World No. 1 Novak Djokovic from the French Open quarters last year.The 34-year-old, who is not used to playing on grass, took time to get used to the surface but once he did the tie became a lopsided affair.At 5-4, Seppi won four points in a row to seal the first set in style.In the second set, the Italian toyed with Ramkumar hitting clinical forehands (17 winners) even as the lanky Chennai player tried to forge a comeback in the third game.The big-serving Ramanathan hit eight aces but paid the price for his inconsistency with six double faults as opposed to Seppi’s two.Also Read | Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ankita Raina rise to career-best in ATP rankingsAlso Read | Mahesh Bhupathi stresses on singles players winning Davis Cup ties for Indialast_img read more

Watch: Australia bowler Meredith concedes 17 runs off 1 legal delivery in Big Bash League

first_imgAustralian fast bowler Riley Meredith suffered a horrible day in the Big Bash League as the Hobart Hurricanes bowler conceded 17 runs off one legal delivery in their home match against the Melbourne Renegades on Thursday.Meredith, a 22-year-old Tasmania bowler, gave Hobart Hurricanes the worst possible start to their defense of a 184-run target as he conceded 23 runs in the first over of the innings.It all began when Meredith bowled a huge no-ball in the fourth delivery of the first over.Meredith followed up the first no-ball with a wide that went way past wicketkeeper Matthew Wade to the boundary, earning Renegades 5 wides. The next ball flew to the boundary off Aaron Finch’s inside-edge. After a brief discussion, the on-field umpire gave it a no-ball for height, albeit it being a marginal decision.Meredith overstepped once again, completing three no-balls in the first over. Finch didn’t miss out this time as he hit it cleanly to the wide mid-off boundary after making room for himself.When Meredith finally bowled a legal ball, the Hobart crowd applauded the young fast bowler.Despite Meredith’s costly first over, Hobart Hurricanes were able to restrict the Melbourne Renegades to 167/8 and clinch a 16-run win. Meredith picked up the wicket of Daniel Christian and finished with figures of 1/43 in his three-over quota.17 runs… FROM ONE BALLThis Bucket Ball bonanza was the worst start to the innings the Hurricanes could [email protected] | #BBL08 pic.twitter.com/FfS7svQXpmKFC Big Bash League (@BBL) February 7, 2019Earlier in the day, Hobart Hurricanes captain Wade had slammed a 30-ball 58, including four sixes and six boundaries, to take the hosts to 183. Ben McDermott struck a 30-ball 39 before Simon Milenko provided the late blitz (14-ball 27).advertisementHobart Hurricanes are comfortably placed at the top of the eight-team table with 20 points from 13 matches. The Renegades are third with 16 points from 14 matches.Also Read | We are sorry: New Zealand Cricket after removing banner promoting sexual consentAlso Read | Australia team going to India is not the World Cup squad, says Justin LangerAlso See:last_img read more