Viktor Durasovic showed that Norway was not exactly a one-man army! Ranked a modest 325 in singles and 224 in doubles, the 25-year-old Durasovic stood up to the task, along with world No.2 Casper Ruud, in guiding Norway to an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the Davis Cup World Group tie against India at the Hakons Hall in Lillehammer on Saturday.
Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni did raise hopes of sustaining Indian fight when they took the second set in the doubles, but Ruud and Durasovic broke Yuki’s serve in the fourth game of the decider and pulled through without any further drama.
Once Ruud recovered from 0-30 to hold serve for a 5-2 lead in the decider, it was hard for the Indian pair, even though Yuki nonchalantly served the eighth game to put Durasovic’s serve to test.
Durasovic, the unsung hero in the Norwegian camp, served it out to put the team ahead.
After the manner in which he had dismissed the challenge from India No.1 Ramkumar Ramanathan in the second singles on the opening day, winning the match 6-1, 6-4 in quick time, Durasovic did command a lot of respect from the Indian camp.
In the given conditions of the indoor hard court, on which the players were really blasting the ball, the Norwegians were quite at home. The home fans were treated to a quality fare overall, even though India could have fought better, as the players had trained hard in the build-up to get accustomed to the conditions.
It was a bit disappointing for India as except for Yuki and Saketh giving a good account of themselves, the team could not show that it could fight.
Yet, one has to give credit where it belongs, and Durasovic was indeed the hero who took the fight to India, and took the team’s breath away. Driven by the commitment shown by Ruud to report for national duty despite being exhausted competing against the very best in the world for two weeks and reaching the final of the US Open last Sunda, Durasovic played his part brilliantly.
Davis Cup is all about commitment. Ruud and Durasovic exemplified the aspect much to the delight of the fans, with an entertaining performance.
Norway bt India 3-0 (Viktor Durasovic bt Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-1, 6-4; Durasovic & Casper Ruud bt Yuki Bhambri & Saketh Myneni 6-3, 3-6, 6-3).