Namangan (Uzbekistan), April 8 (IANS) India won the two dead rubbers to lose the Davis Cup Group I tie against Uzbekistan 2-3 here Sunday, when 295th ranked Yuki Bhambri upset World No. 43 Denis Istomin in the reverse singles.
Bhambri defeated Istomin 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 after a two-hour-39-minute battle at the Pahlavon Sport Complex. It was Istomin's first loss at home in six years.
Rohan Bopanna, playing the fifth match as a replacement for Sanam Singh, got the better of Sarvar Ikramov 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 for a consolation win. Sanam was ruled out for the match as he is suffering from chicken pox.
The experienced doubles pair of Bopanna and Leander Paes were stunned by Istomin and Murad Inoyatov Saturday, ensuring a sixth World Group play-off for Uzbekistan in September. Uzbekistan have never made the 16-nation elite group since since they joined Davis Cup in 1994.
India, on the other hand, stay in Asia Oceania Group 1 for at least a year and play New Zealand in September.
The visitors lost the tie on the second day for the first time since the World Group play-off against the Netherlands in 2003.
In the opening day Friday, debutant Sanam lost to Istomin while Bhambri went down to Farrukh Dustov.
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