Davis Cup: India qualify for WG Qualifiers as Paes, Jeevan combine beat Pakistan’s Shoaib, Hufaiza in straight sets
New Delhi | PTI: Veteran tennis player Leander Paes bettered his own Davis Cup record by winning his 44th doubles match, this time partnering debutant Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, as India blanked Pakistan 4-0 on Saturday to earn a spot in the 2020 Qualifiers.
Pakistani teenagers Mohammed Shoaib and Hufaiza Abdul Rehman were no match for the Indian combination of the battle-hardened Paes and Jeevan, who needed just 53 minutes to win 6-1 6-3.
Last year, Paes became the most successful doubles player in the history of Davis Cup when he won his 43rd match, surpassing Italian great Nicola Pietrangeli during the tie against China.
The 46-year-old had taken 56 ties for his 43rd win while Pietrangeli competed in 66 ties for his 42 victories.
"It was fabulous playing with Jeevan in his first Davis Cup match. Right from the beginning, he did everything right. It was being about staying solid today. Jeevan has a big heart, he loves to play for the flag. I am proud to share the court with him," said Paes as reported by PTI.
"These guys keep me young, fresh and vibrant. They bring out the best in me. We have got a great mix of different generations and different age groups. It's a lot of fun to be back to playing for India again," added the winner of 18 Grand Slam titles.
His record of 44 wins in 57 ties is unlikely to be broken anytime soon as, except him, none of the active doubles players feature in the top-10 list. Belarusian Max Mirnyi, at number three, has 36 wins but has not played on Tour since 2018.
Saturday's result means India have won all the matches in a tie for the first time since February 2014 when they had blanked Chinese Taipei 5-0 in Indore.
India will now face world number two Croatia for the Qualifiers in an away tie, to be held on March 6-7. Twenty-four nations will go head-to-head in a bid to win one of 12 qualifying spots for the Davis Cup Finals.
Posted By: Talib Khan