New Delhi: Despite not being a high-quality opponent, the Indians have managed to impress the mighty Spain with a few qualities – their fighting spirit and display of emotions on the court.
India suffered a whitewash at the hands of five-time champions and will stay in Asia/Oceania Group in season 2017.
The doubles rubber was the only match where they faced resistance from the pair of veteran Leander Paes and Saketh Myneni.
Paes and Ramkumar involve the fans with them in their individual rubbers, asking them to cheer for them, back them.
When Spanish captain Conchita Martinez was asked to compare the Indian team with some other teams that they have played, she said: "I don't know how to compare but what we have learnt that they are powerful, have talent, good hands. They are great fighters and play with emotions, like to play with for their country. They are hard workers."
David Ferrer said he liked the fact the Indian fans were respectful for the visiting side. He also had words of praise for Ramkumar Ramanathan and Myneni.
"Playing in India is very different. It's my second time in India (he played in Champions Tennis League). I enjoyed the week. People have respect for us and I appreciate it," Ferrer said.
After leading the side to the World Group, Conchita said that Spanish players were thorough professionals, who just want to win when they step on the court.
Meanwhile, Sumit Nagal, who made an impressive debut but could not pull off the win, said he still has no clue what happened to him in the third set.
"I could not breath. I was not getting enough oxygen. The coach said it could be a gas problem, it was there till last. I became a bit tight, it was affecting my lungs. Maybe it was my first time (in Davis Cup), it cold be nervous tension as well," he said.
"The coach said I am good enough to play three sets. The humidity was crazy. It is not there in Europe everyday and it was what that made the difference.
Nagal said the occasion was big for him but he hid his nerves.
"I was nervous but I did not show it to the people or my opponent. I had never played before such a crowd. I think I did a decent job. I am pretty disappointed. I could have pulled it off."
Nagal, who is supported by Mahesh Bhupathi, said he was "everything for me. I am here because of him."
Ramanathan said he has learnt a lot by playing against the formidable Spaniards.
"It was a great experience to play against Ferrer. I learnt many things. I was fighting every point. Sliced a bit, volleys, made a few points. We fought hard, gave our best," he said.
"I am going to train in Europe, playing lot of tournaments, results will come if I keep working hard. I played right way, missing a few points here and there. Could have taken more games. Ferrer showed me the way to improve. Next thing is to work harder, work on more aspects," Ramanathan said.
Asked about his training stint in Spain, he said, "To be honest, every player in Spain is good, their level is high, Futures or Challengers. Same system, put the ball deep, move the opponent. That's they teach to everyone."
First Published On : Sep 19, 2016 00:31 IST