Somdev’s strained shoulder makes him doubtful for reverse singles

September 17th, 2011 - 9:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Davis Cup Tokyo, Sep 17 (IANS) India’s slim chance of putting it across Japan in the Davis Cup World Group play-off received a jolt with their No.1 Somdev Devvarman nursing a strained shoulder and he is doubtful for the first reverse singles against Japan’s Kei Nishikori Sunday.

India’s non-playing captain S. P. Misra said it will be tough for for India without Somdev, who’s injury flared up during his opening singles match against Yuichi Sugita Friday.

“Somdev’s old shoulder injury got aggravated during the match Friday. He felt the pain while serving and hitting his forehand. Also, he had difficulty returning the powerful grounstrokes of Sugita. He later went with team doctor Dr. Vece Paes for an MRI and we are yet to see the scan report,” Misra told IANS.

“Even if he takes the court, it is highly unlikely that he will be 100 per cent fit. But the game fighter that he is, he knows the importance of the his match and will do everything to try and push it to the fifth rubber.”

Somdev had to call for medical time-out for a trainer to work on his shoulder during his 3-6, 4-6, 5-7 loss to Sugita. If he does not make it, he will be replaced by debutant Vishnu Vardhan.

India succeeded in taking the tie into the third day after Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna eked out a tight 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) victory over scratch combination Sugita and Tatsuma Ito. India trail 1-2 after both Somdev and Bopanna lost their singles matches Friday.

Misra said he has alerted Vardhan to get ready for the match.

“With Bopanna playing the second reverse singles, we do not have anyone except the Vishnu to play the match if Somdev could not make it. But it will be very tough without Somdev, as Vishnu is new to Davis Cup and Kei Nishikori is a very good player,” he said.

Misra was happy with the effort of Bopanna and Bhupathi in the doubles.

“It was a hard-fought victory. The Japanese pair went all out as they had nothing to lose, but Rohan and Mahesh did quite well to come on top, especially in the tie-breaker,” he said.

Japan are looking to enter the elite World Group for the first time since 1985 while India will be relegated to Asia-Oceania Group One if they lose the tie.

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