Namangan, Uzbekistan: India got off to a worst possible start in their Asia Ocenia Group I Davis Cup tie losing both the singles matches against Uzbekistan who took a 2-0 lead here on Friday.
Rookies Sanam Singh, 24, and the 20-year-old Yuki Bhambri lost their singles matches in straight sets against Denis Istomin and Farrukh Dustov respectively in what turned out to be lop-sided contests.
To stay alive in the tie, India will again have to depend on their seasoned doubles pair of Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna to pull one back so that the reverse singles remain consequential.
The Uzbeks got off the blocks in style as their top-ranked player Istomin defeated debutant Sanam in straight sets to give his country a 1-0 lead.
The tie, which is being held at the Sports Complex in Pahlavon, saw world No 43 Istomin dominating right from the start to register an easy 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win.
In the second match of the day, world No. 262 Dustov beat the talented Bhambri 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in a match which was slightly better as a contest compared to the first one.
For the inexperienced Sanam, making his Davis Cup debut, facing a Top-50 player on clay court was always going to be a difficult proposition and he surrendered meekly to the 25-year-old Uzbek who recently defeated American Andy Roddick in an ATP event in the US.
Asian Games gold medallist Sanam is primarily a hard court specialist and found it difficult indulging in long rallies with his much experienced opponent. Adding to his woes, he made a number of unforced errors.
In the second match, one expected world No 295 Yuki to put in more effort against Dustov and he did put up a fight in the first two sets before running out of steam in the third set.