After Ramkumar's loss, Yuki gets consolation win
Edmonton: India were left to battle it out in the Asian zone yet again after Ramkumar Ramanathan's defeat in the must-win fourth rubber as Denis Shapovalov steered Canada back to the elite Davis Cup World Group on Sunday.
India needed Ramkumar to create some magic on the final day of the tie but his failure to convert chances proved crucial as world number 51 Shapovalov shut the door on the visitors with a decisive 6-3 7-6(1) 6-3 win.Their fate already sealed, Yuki Bhambri won the dead fifth rubber against Brayden Schnur 6-4 4-6 6-4 as India lost the World Group Play-off tie 2-3 to the hosts. In a see-saw battle, Yuki overcame lapse of concentration and an early break in the deciding set to finally convert his fifth match point and finish the indoor away tie.
It is now fourth straight year that India have not managed to cross the Play-offs hurdle, having lost to Serbia, Czech Republic and Spain in previous three attempts.
Canada thus have earned their spot back in the 16-nation World Group after losing the first round to Great Britain in February this year while India will again strive in the Asia/Oceania Group I in 2018 to get to the Play-offs stage. Indian captain Mahesh Bhupathi rued the missed chances on all the three days.