World No 10, Rohan Bopanna, and partner Saketh Myneni, suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Artem Sitak and Marcus Daniell in the Asia/Oceania Davis Cup Group 1 tie. The Indians now trail New Zealand 1-2 and face an uphill task during the reverse singles on Sunday, 19 July. Bopanna, a recent semi-finalist at the Wimbledon Championships, and Myneni lost the match tamely. The final score of 3-6, 6-7, 3-6, was a straight sets loss for the duo.
Stats: The Indian pair won none of their two break points, while their opponents won three out of seven. The New Zealand pair had seven aces, while the Indians had just five.
This is the first defeat for the pairing as a team in the Davis Cup. Previously they had won their matches against Korea and Chinese Taipei. The last time an Indian team lost the doubles rubber in the Davis Cup was in April 2012, when Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes went down to Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin and Murad Inoyatov.
If India are to advance to the World Group play-offs, then Bhambri and Devvarman will have to win their reverse singles ties. Bhambri plays Michael Venus, while Devvarman takes on Jose Statham.
Devvarman will play first, followed by Bhambri. India's Davis Cup captain Anand Amritraj believes the tie will be decided in the final match.
The winner will enter September's play-offs for a place in the 2016 World Group.
(With inputs from PTI)