Johannesburg:India are just one win away from making the Davis Cup World Group, courtesy impressive wins by Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna, but captain S P Misra has refused to be carried away.
Somdev and Rohan put India in a strong 2-0 position against South Africa in the play-off tie by winning both the singles on the opening day at Ellis Park indoor stadium here on Friday.
Misra said they are going step by step and they are not looking much beyond the doubles rubber. "The boys did well but I am not thinking much about the outcome. It was a good day for us and we will take it day by day," non-playing captain Misra said.
After Somdev handed India 1-0 lead by beating Izak Van der Merwe in the first match, Bopanna made a disastrous start to the second rubber.
However, he staged a spirited comeback to shock Rik De Voest who is ranked 189 comparing to Bopanna's way down 488. Commenting on Bopanna's stunning show, Misra said, "I told him keep going. You can't go down in this fashion. One (Rik) can't go with that speed continuously for three sets. Then from second set on Bopanna started serving better, cut down Rik's winners and grew in confidence.
Bopanna was so elated that he termed today's win one of the best in his career.
"This was one of my best matches ever. I served extremely well and I am happy with the way I fought back after the first set.
"It feels great to pull off such an important win. Now I hope to finish off the job tomorrow with Mahesh," he said. Somdev earlier faced stiff resistance from Merwe but after winning the first set he negated the serve and volley game of the South African quite well. Misra said the courts were not that fast and that helped Somdev.
"These are tailor-made courts for us. The boys had acclimatised well and the court was not that fast so I told Somdev to attack Merwe's serve. That was the only way to attack volleying," Misra said.
Somdev was happy that his hard work paid off. "I played well enough to win. It was important to win the first match and ease the pressure on Rohan. I am happy I got the job done and ecstatic with the way Rohan played. We are in a great position now," he said.