After Day 1 disappointment for the Indian team, day 2 at the Davis Cup in Lillehammer was about to take place on 17th September 2022. At least, in the doubles, our guys should have the chance to put a little pressure on the Norwegian hosts. However, having the winners’ party in the beautiful little town would have required two victories against local heroes Casper Ruud. Already the first attempt failed in doubles.
Match coverage together with Flyctory.com, which is covering the tie in parallel.
Casper Ruud / Viktor Durasovic – Yuki Bhambri / Saketh Myneni 6-3 3-6 6-3
The doubles clash was definitely the highlight of the tie so far. In the first set, Viktor Durosevic was straight en route to become the hero of the tie. His serve felt unbreakable in the first turn, while Casper Ruud felt to struggle much more with the (for him) less familiar wider court. While the Indian team could break the Norwegian star player in the third game of the set, they faced two breaks in the first set, in the second and in the sixth game of the set, both with Saketh serving. Norway felt to have some trouble in the beginning, but finally, they controlled the set, smarty understanding to limit the Indian strength on the net. Yuki and Saketh also faced some accuracy issues, especially towards the end of the first and the beginning of the second set.
Luckily for our team, Durasovic could not keep up with his impressive dominance in the second set. The sixth game was finally the decisive part of the set, when India could convert a triple break point against his serve. This time, two Yuki Bhambri serving games could have let to happiness in Hakons Hall, which was even more crowded than on Day 1. But India did the crucial points now and especially the seventh game of the second set gave confidence to our guys, who tied the score to 6-3 3-6 from a Norwegian poiint of view.
The third set of the match has been a really variable doubles match, in which the Norwegians stroke again. The hosts broke Yuki’s serve in the fourth game of the match. Most of the other games in the third set were rather straight – the best chance for India to calm down the home crowd was in the seventh game against Casper Ruud’s serve very likely, but our team could not go for any break point there. Finally, the doubles teams cruised the match home – which meant that Norway deservedly qualified for the 2023 Qualifiers in March 2023.
Lukas Hellum Lilleengen – Sumit Nagal 2-6 1-6
Dead rubber time after three matches only – likely not what the Indian team had hoped for. Sumit Nagal and Lukas Hellum Lilleengen were selected for this final match of the tie. Sumit had a much tougher time than the score might suggest. Especially in the second set, Lilleengen gave a great fight in which both players acted rather nervous, compared that it was a no pressure situation. India had first match points at 5-0 in the second set, but finally needed to wait for Nagal’s serve to finally at least with the dead rubber.