New Delhi :Twin victories by Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna put India in a commanding position in the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie against South Africa here on Friday.
Somdev put India ahead by overwhelming Izak Van der Merwe 7-6 (5), 6-3 6-4 in the first singles and then Bopanna staged a stunning comeback to upset Rik De Voest 2-6 6-4 6-2 6-4 in the second rubber at Ellis park indoor arena.
A win in Saturday's doubles rubber will clear India's entry into the World Group after 11 years.
Bopanna refused to throw in towel even after receiving a ruthless drubbing in the first set and turned the tables on his higher ranked opponent, who is placed 299 (rpt 299) rungs above him at 189 in the ATP chart.
Bopanna was struggling to get on the board initially but raised his game by several notches as the match progressed. Like Somdev, Bopanna too took a while to get into rhythm.
He never looked back after breaking Rik, South Africa's number one player in the tie, in the fifth game of the second set.
After making it one set all, Bopanna played an amazing game as he served extremely well and his booming single handed backhands and forehands were too hot to handle.
Earlier, coming into the tie after his breakthrough performance at the US Open, the 133rd ranked Somdev played with maturity and took two hours and 10 minutes to dispatch his opponent.