Otta Virtanen defied his rating of 419, performed a strong sport and defeated the One hundred and sixty fifth-ranked Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-3, 7-6(1) as host Finland took a 1-0 lead within the Davis Cup World Group tie on the Espoo Metro Arena on Friday.
The 20-year-old Virtanen, figuring in simply his second Davis Cup tie, performed like a champion. He served nicely, stroked with conviction and retained his composure regardless of dealing with a set level within the twelfth sport of the second set earlier than crossing the end line in an hour and 25 minutes.
A shaky sixth sport of the opening set, when Virtanen produced a few sharp winners, noticed Prajnesh lose serve and the initiative.
Virtanen saved a breakpoint within the subsequent sport to tighten his grip over the set and served out the set within the ninth sport.
The 31-year-old Prajnesh performed so much higher within the second set, however did not capitalise on the probabilities that got here his means. He saved three breakpoints within the ninth sport to maintain his nostril in entrance, however missed a chance within the eleventh sport.
Virtanen then saved a set level with an ace within the twelfth sport and took the set to a tie-breaker. The Finn stored his cool, pulling away from the Indian and profitable 7-1 a lot to the delight of the sparse gathering within the indoor enviornment.
Virtanen served 10 aces and transformed certainly one of eight breakpoints as he gave Finland a 1-0 benefit.
The development of shedding to opponents ranked a lot decrease than him continued for Prajnesh, who had misplaced to Borna Gojo of Croatia in March final yr.
Prajnesh, who made his Davis Cup debut in 2017, has a 2-6 win-loss report. His victories got here in opposition to Yibing Wu within the fifth rubber in opposition to China in 2018 and Sanjar Fayziev of Uzbekistan in Bengaluru in 2017.
The outcome: Finland leads India 1-0 [Otto Virtanen bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-3, 7-6(1)].