On the opening day of the Davis Cup World Group play-off, world number 13 David Ferrer beat India's best singles player Saketh Myneni 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 while Ramkumar Ramathan went down to Nadal's replacement Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 1-6 at RK Khanna Tennis Stadium in New Delhi on Friday.
14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal was supposed to open the Davis Cup in India against Ramkumar but he pulled out of the tournament due to a stomach bug.
The match between Myneni and Ferrer was an absolute treat to watch purely for the beautiful shots that the game offered.
Ferrer, being the superior player clearly, played his rank with grace and poise. Myneni, though fought hard, couldn't put up with the world number 13.
In the first set, Ferrer breezed past Myneni with his powerful long forehand doing the job. Ferrer placed his shots smartly making Myneni run across the line.
The second set also seemed like a cakewalk for Ferrer with the scoreline being 4-0 after two serves from both the players. In the fifth game, Myneni pulled off some excellently powerful serves that Ferrer couldn't return and won the game. But unable to break Ferrer's serve, Myneni lost the set 2-6.
The third set proved to be the final set of the game with Myneni being able to show only glimpses of power while Ferrer took away the game with his grace. In the other game, Ramkumar struggled against Lopez from the beginning, which was widely anticipated considering Spain's superior ranking.
Though Ramkumar showed sparkling glimpses of superiority during his own serve, he was unable to break through Lopez's serve which eventually cost him the match.
Lopez particularly cashed upon Ramkumar's missing athleticism as the latter was unable to show much promise running across the court. After going 2 sets down, Ramkumar showed exceptional courage and upped his game to register a commanding 6-3 win in the third set. Lopez hit back hard and strong in the fourth set to win the fourth set and the match.