Davis Cup: Paes, Amritraj register wins

India today took a 2-0 lead over Uzbekistan in the Asia Oceania tie being played in Jaipur.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:51 IST
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India today took a 2-0 lead over Uzbekistan in the Asia Oceania tie being played in Jaipur. Leander Paes played the first singles and won in straight sets over Farukh Dustov, following which Prakash Amritraj completed another straight sets demolition of Denis Istomin. India are now just one win away from reaching the world group playoffs in the Davis Cup. Clinching the win Paes was earlier caught off-guard, as Dustov tried to keep pace. However, the 31-year-old broke serve with a trade mark return of serve, going on to take a 5-3 lead. Dustov, Uzbekistan's highest-ranked player, wasn't a pushover either, and the game saw him break back to bring it back on serve. But Paes came up with the goods when it mattered the most. He went on to win the tie-breaker and the set 7-6 The second set was a cakewalk. Even though he is ranked almost 700 places below the Uzbek, Paes took a 4-0 lead. The Indian Captain then went on to win the second set 6-2. Leander's gamble of playing singles ahead of the much higher-ranked Harsh Mankad paid off. The straight sets win gave India a 1-0 lead over Uzbekistan. Double cheer Prakash Amritraj was up against Dennis Istomin in the second singles. After losing his serve in the 5th game, Prakash demonstrated his all-round grass court skills by winning four games in a row to win the first set 6-3. Amritraj junior then won another four consecutive games on the trot in the 2nd set, for a 4-0 lead. He finally won the set 6-2. Just like his Captain, India's second highest ranked player steamrolled past his opponent in straight sets. That gives India a 2-0 lead which should hopefully become a winning 3-0 lead on Saturday, when Paes and Bhupathi re-unite for the doubles.