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Posted on Sep 17, 10:10AM | IBNS
A young Indian team, sans seniors like Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, whitewashed New Zealand 5-0 by winning the last two dead singles rubbers in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I first round play-off here Sunday.
Yuki Bhambri and Sanam Singh won their respective reverse singles after India took an unassailable 3-0 lead Saturday to avoid relegation into Group II.
Delhi boy Bhambri, who gave India a 1-0 lead by winning the first match against Daniel King-Turner Friday, came back from a set down to beat World No.317 Jose Statham 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(5).
Local lad Sanam Singh, who replaced Vishnu Vardhan for the final match of the tie, beat Artem Sitak in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.
It was Sanam's second Davis Cup match and the team decided to field him as India had already pocketed the match.
Sitam also was a replacement - for King-Turner who was supposed to play the match.
New Zealand now have to play Chinese Taipei in a second round play-off in October to avoid relegation to Group II.
India improved their head-to-head record against the Kiwis 4-3. This was also the first time when India registered a clean-sweep against New Zealand.