Chandigarh: If his display of excellent tennis skills, and more importantly the nerve to hold on and put up a fight, is anything to go by, Yuki Bhambri deserves the billing of India's flag bearer in tennis after Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.
Playing in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group I relegation tie against New Zealand's Daniel King-Turner in Chandigarh on Friday, Bhambri came back from two sets down to clinch India's first win by 3-6, 0-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. Beating someone who's ranked 382 in the singles, in comparison to Yuki's 173, may not look to be a feat worth saying, but it is the manner in which the 20-year-old regained his composure to turn the tide counts high.
This gives India a confidence boosting 1-0 lead in the tournament.
Earlier, the start was the match was delayed by nearly one and half hours due to heavy rains.
Playing under overcast conditions, a humiliating drubbing in the opener looked almost certain for India. But Yuki managed to pull off a sensational win in three hours and 15 minutes at the CLTA tennis stadium.
Vishnu Vardhan, Paes's Olympics doubles partner, will take on Kiwi No.1 Jose Statham in the second singles.