Chandigarh: India captain Anand Amritraj says it was "initiation by fire" for both Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan as they pulled off victories in their singles matches under testing conditions to give the hosts a 2-0 lead against Korea in the Asia/Oceania group I Davis Cup tie on Friday.
Both the Korean players -- Seong Chan Hong and Yong-Kyu Lim -- conceded their matches when they were on the verge of losing as they suffered cramps and spasms under severe hot and humid conditions.
"Saketh showed tremendous heart. It was initiation by fire for the boys. It was mind-boggling. I have never seen in my 25-year career that both the guys (Saketh and Lim) are on the ground. It was a matter of just standing up. I knew whoever would stand, will win," said an elated Amritraj at the post-match press conference.
The non-playing captain said he had thought of withdrawing Myneni out the match since he was in severe pain but the gritty Indian player wanted to continue and finish the job at hand.
"He (Myneni) played like a warrior. The break of serve in the first game of the final set certainly helped," Amritraj said.
28-year-old Myneni, who played his first ever five-setter, said he never thought of quitting despite intense pain.
"I wanted to finish it off in three sets. It was very humid but never I thought of giving up. I just need to keep moving. The support staff played a great role. Without them I would not have been able to continue. They kept me going, they were pulling the socks up," a much-relieved Myneni said.
Myneni said there was not much he could do with the way he trains to avoid such struggle under humid conditions.
Ramkumar, who made his Davis Cup debut today, said he handled the pressure of playing for the country well.
"I believed in myself. There was small pressure but I handled well. When you are playing Davis Cup, it's not just tennis after a limit," the youngster said.
Ramkumar also praised his opponent Hong.
"He played smart in the second set but in the third, I played the way I wanted. Rohan and Leander were helping me from the lines. They asked me to enjoy and I gave my all."
Ramkumar said the groundsmen did a "great job" by making the court play-ready after heavy rains yesterday.
"The bounce was low but no regrets. It was same for him (Hong) also," he concluded.
Published Date: Jul 15, 2016 21:44 PM | Updated Date: Jul 15, 2016 21:44 PM