Italians delivered a victory to their team in the new Davis Cup format by defeating the Indians 3-1 in the world group qualifying stage on the grass courts of Kolkata, India. Seppi swept aside India’s number one tennis player, Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-1, 6-4 in the first reverse singles tie. The World Number 102, Gunneswaran who is presently dwelling on a career-high ranking couldn’t really maintain pace with the World Number 37, Seppi in the first set, nevertheless, Gunneswaran gave a close fight in the second. However, the 40 unforced errors committed by him couldn’t really aid him to stay in the match. Seppi’s half a dozen aces kept the audience of the Gunneswaran’s home crowd hushed.
“It was an important win for us. Of course, after a tough doubles, I had to come out and play a deciding single in the end and I played a solid match,” Seppi said. “Aim is to stay healthy because I am not the youngest guy on tour. I hope my body holds up and I can still enjoy some tennis in the coming years”. Italy with a dominating lead of 2-0 lost to the Indian doubles team, as Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan won over Simone Bolleli and Matteo Berrettini 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 in one hour and 43 minutes. The Indians had narrow possibilities to stay in the Davis Cup event since Ramkumar Ramanathan and Gunneswaran had lost their singles matches to Seppi and Berrettini respectively.
India’s non-playing captain and two-time Career Slam doubles champion, Mahesh Bhupathi said, “All of us had a belief but we needed to win a point yesterday”, Bhupati mentioned. “It was a monumental task to win back from 0-2 down. “We need to come into the real world. Once the Madrid list (of 12 nations) is out, I want you to see if they have any player outside top-100. Of course, we were dying to go to Madrid. But you can’t expect miracles”.