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India ends Serbia tie without a win, lose 0-4 after Balaji's defeat

Press Trust of India  |  Kraljevo (Serbia) 

Turning out to play the dead fourth rubber, N lost to Pedja Krstin in straight sets as ended the Davis World Group Play-off tie against without a single win, losing 0-4, here on Sunday.

Since the tie was already decided in favour of the hosts, who had taken an unassailable 3-0 lead, fielded Balaji in place of Ramkumar Ramanathan.

also changed the nomination, playing Krstin in place of

Balaji, who is more focussed on the doubles, lost 3-6 1-6 in 66 minutes on indoor clay courts at the Kraljevo Venue.

The two sides agreed not to play the fifth rubber.

"It was not a bad match for me. In every service game I had game points but I was not sharp enough to take them. Even most of the return games were close. The scoreline look easy for him but we had long games," Balaji told

"Before going into the tie, we thought we had a chance of beating them. But they came up strong in every match."

did not have multiple winner Novak Djokovic and injured in their line-up but still could not take advantage of it.

India now have lost four out of five meetings with Serbia, whom they had defeated way back in 1927 when the country was

Since new reforms have been introduced, India will not have to go back to the immediately.

Instead, India will compete in a 24-team qualifying event (home and away format) in February next year to qualify for the 18-team Finals. The year-end event to crown champions will be held either in or from November 18-24, next year.

The 12 winners will qualify while four semi-finalists from the 2018 season will get direct entry. The ITF will award two wild cards for the inaugural Davis Cup finals.

The Indian team is ranked 20th but effectively it is 16th, considering that four semifinalists will not be part of the qualifying event.

The two worst teams in the qualifiers will go back to the zonal competition.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, September 16 2018. 19:40 IST