Davis Cup: Yuki comes back from behind to clinch the opening match against King-Turner in five sets

Yuki Bhambri came back from behind to clinch a five-setter in the opening match of the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania zone Group I relegation play-off tie against New Zealand at CLTA Stadium on Friday, says a report in The Times Of India, adding that outplayed in the first two sets by New Zealand's Daniel King-Turner in cool and cloudy conditions following a two-hour rain-delayed start, Yuki got out of his slumber once the skies cleared to take the match 3-6, 0-6, 6-2, 6-4 6-2 in three hours and 15 minutes of pretty mediocre tennis.

“Vishnu Vardhan came out all guns blazing and dominated Jose Statham before insufficient light halted the day's proceedings. Vishnu had just won the third set to nose ahead 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 when the New Zealanders wanted the match stopped,” says the report.

Meanwhile The Hindu writes that on a gloomy morning when wet weather had delayed the start by two hours, and the Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had inaugurated the event, the 20-year-old Yuki suddenly lost the grip over the proceedings after leading 3-2 in the first set.

The future of Indian tennis was looking down the barrel, when Yuki lost 11 games in-a-row. His level of confidence, physical movement and clarity of thought were perhaps at their lowest.  It was to his credit, that the 179th-ranked Yuki was able to respond to the situation, as only champions can. Captain S.P. Misra said that it was a mystery as to how Yuki lost so many games in such a hurry, as there was nothing special about his opponent. Of course, the Kiwi served big and stroked with punch.

The idea was to stay in the points, and Yuki revived his fortunes, as he held his serve in the second game of the third set. Once he did that, the former World No. 1 junior, faced only two more breakpoints in the rest of the match and sailed clear of trouble with a clean and robust game, as the sparse crowd goaded him to his best.

Meanwhile Hindustan Times writes that first there were daddies and now, there are mummies! “A shift from the usual parental audience during Davis Cup matches, the mothers couldn't be any prouder, watching their young sons shouldering the responsibility of keeping India in Asia-Oceania Group I,” says the report.

"I'm so proud of Vishnu (Vardhan),"said a bespectacled Padmavati. "I couldn't watch him play in Japan last year. It's wonderful to see him get a chance to play a lead role at home."

She wasn't alone. Yuki Bhambri's mother Indu and elder sister Ankita were subjected to a few anxious moments before the youngster came through in the opener. Doubles specialist and Davis Cup debutant Divij Sharan's mother Anju was all smiles before the opening ceremony: "He's worked so hard for this; it's wonderful to see him get a chance to play." "I had butterflies in my stomach to be honest," said Indu, who was watching her son playing Davis Cup 'live' for the first time. "I knew that Yuki had it in him. I knew that if he could win one set he would pull out the match," said a much-relieved mother.