Bangalore, Sep 13: Leander Paes yet again turned the clock back in company of Rohan Bopanna as the Indian duo recorded a dramatic come-from-behind 1-6 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3 8-6 win over Serbian pair of Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac to keep home team's chances alive in the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie, here today.
It was yet another brilliant Davis Cup show by Leander against a Serbian pair, who had the distinction of beating the legendary Bryan brothers in Davis Cup last season. India were down by two sets and a break in the third and the tie was heavily tilted in the favour of the 2010 champions but things changed dramatically for India from the sixth game of that set, soon after Zimonjic needed a timeout for a back niggle.
Bopanna started to explode with his bazooka serves and Paes was at his athletic best playing his customary 'chip and charge' game with immaculate anticipation as they were cheered by a partisan crowd of 5000 this evening. The turnaround happened after Bopanna initially struggled to serve to his strength and keeping the ball inside the court. Paes' magic was nowhere to be seen as the Serbians were cruising for a straight-set win.
There was no stopping the Indians after they managed to break Zimonjic in the sixth game of the third set. The Serbians crumbled as the crowd went behind the team with defeaning cheers, a situation in which Paes thrives and his magic rubs on.
The ball speed improved as the match progressed and it helped the Indians in a big way. As the balls grew old and balls started to travel at a better speed, Paes and Bopanna found their mojo back. The stinging serves were in, strokes precise and emotion on a high while the Serbians felt the heat on a cool and pleasent evening.