XtraTime Web Desk: Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal easily won their opening singles to give India a comfortable 2-0 lead over arch rivals Pakistan on Day 1 of the Davis Cup tie at Nur Sultan.
Ramanathan dispatched Muhammad Shoaib 6-0, 6-0 in 42 minutes in the first match in the Kazakhstan capital of Nur-Sultan. Nagal then outplayed Huzaifa Abdul Rehman 6-0, 6-2 in one hour and four minutes. India will next travel to Croatia in March 2020 for the world group qualifiers if they win the best-of-five rubber.
The International Tennis Federation moved the Asia/Oceania Group 1 away from Islamabad because of India’s security fears even though Pakistan opposed the decision.
Pakistan’s top players Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Aqeel Khan pulled out of the tie in protest, giving teenagers Shoaib and Rehman their chance alongside Yousaf Khalil.
The match was also pushed back from September because of the security fears. India last played a Davis Cup tie in Pakistan in 1964, when they beat the hosts 4-0. Pakistan lost 3-2 when they played in Mumbai in 2006.