Bangalore: A resilient Somdev Devvarman won the battle of nerves and wits as he pulled off a stunning five-set victory over world number 61 Dusan Lajovic to lock the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie against Serbia 2-2, here today.
Somdev overcame a sluggish start to carve out a heroic 1-6 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 win after battling hard for three hours and 37 minutes as he dished out a memorable win.
Somdev has played his part and now India's fortunes depend on erratic Yuki Bhambri, who is pitted against Filip Krajinovic in the deciding fifth rubber at KSLTA stadium.
After being drubbed in the first set, Somdev showed amazing strength in his legs and an intelligent brain in his head as he regrouped amazingly to counter a very good opponent, who had reached French Open pre-quarterfinals this season.
Somdev saved eight breakpoints in the second set to revive his and India's chances and switched to serve and volley at crucial junctures, surprising his opponent.
Somdev was rewarded for taking risk as he is not a serve and volley player and has struggled in the past while coming forward to finish points.
Lajovic had dictated terms with his huge service game, at the start but after receiving treatment in his left leg after the second set he lost his rhythm, giving Somdev chance to gather his game.
Initially, Somdev could not play his usual retrieving game but as the match progressed as he could engage Lajovic in long points, giving himself chances to find cracks in the Serbian's game.
He serve became better and better and he also succeded in finishing points quickly. It was a huge turnaround in his game.