Home Sports India have good chance in the qualifiers: Istomin

India have good chance in the qualifiers: Istomin


New Delhi : After India clinched the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group I tennis tie 3-2 here Sunday, Uzbekistan’s No. 1 player Denis Istomin said that with the present team India have a good chance of playing the World Group play-off.

“India are a good team. And with Leander coming back to the side, it’s going to be even stronger,” Istomin said.

Reflecting on the three-day tie, Istomin drew satisfaction from his gruelling five-set win against Rohan Bopanna in the fourth rubber.

“I feel good. I was down by two sets. But I was not tense or anxious. This is the way I play. I could see that he (Bopanna) was getting tired.”

“I am quite used to playing four sets on the hard court, so I was not exhausted. I took my chances once he slumped a bit,” Istomin said, adding that he had his breakfast only after he won the match.

The Asian champion also backed teammate Farrukh Dustov who has struggled with his game throughout the tie.

“Dustov played well today against Prakash. He was struggling with his form but he gave his 100 percent. I am sure he will come back.”

Istomin, however, wasn’t too happy with the grass court. When asked why Uzbek players kept slipping during the match despite wearing shoes tailor-made for grass, he said: “What can we do? The court was like ice. I cannot move back. You have to take small steps to stop yourself from slipping. As far as shoes are concerned, I like them.”

Istomin, on his second visit to India, hopes to put up a better performance on his next trip.

“India is a good country, I like the place. Also I am happy that this time we are going with the close 3-2 score. Last time we lost 5-0. So there is an improvement. Next time we will try to do even better,” he said.

Istomin’s mother, who has played tennis at the national level and is also his coach, accompanied him for this tie, and he feels that her presence has positive effect on him.

“She introduced me to tennis when I was five. To have her around definitely helps. I lost my cool when the umpire gave the wrong decision in the third set. But she told me to calm down,” he said.