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Davis Cup: We went after Adam Pavlasek a little too fast and little too soon, says Leander Paes

Leander Paes was gracious enough on Saturday to concede that Czech player Adam Pavlasek played "phenomenal" tennis and the tactics to go after the youngster backfired on him and Rohan Bopanna in the Davis Cup doubles game in Delhi.

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DNA Web Team

Updated: Sep 30, 2017, 12:26 AM IST

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Leander Paes was gracious enough on Saturday to concede that Czech player Adam Pavlasek played "phenomenal" tennis and the tactics to go after the youngster backfired on him and Rohan Bopanna in the Davis Cup doubles game in Delhi.

It was one rubber in which India entered as favourites but the fancied team were tamed by the Czechs 5-7 2-6 2 6 in two hours and 10 minutes and Paes said they paid the price of underestimating Pavlasek.

"We were definitely the favourites to win this match. But I thought Adam played unbelievable today. Right through the match, Adam did well to win the points. There were three great players and one youngster on the court today and that youngster actually shone," Paes said at the post-match press conference.

"Radek played well, very smartly but Adam really stepped up and played excellent today. It has been a hard day for us. We have lost to a team we should not have. A youngster who actually came out and played phenomenal tennis today," he said.

Asked if the Indian team had expected Adam to partner Stepanek in doubles today, Paes said: "There was a discussion in the Czech team about playing Lukas Rosol today, big discussion before the match.

"We were not quite sure who was going to come up today but when we saw Adam warm up, we were so fired up to go after him that maybe we went after him a little too fast and a little too soon. And he got his rhythm too quick," he said.

"We came out with a strategy to obviously break him (Pavlasek) down and we almost did that. He was fragile in the first set, especially when serving for the first set at 5-4 and we managed to break him," said the 42-year-old who recently won the US Open mixed doubles title with Martina Hingis.

Paes, however, said that he and Bopanna had their moments in the game and they would have been victorious had they won some crucial points and maintained the momentum.

"We started out great, Radek was serving 1-2 0-30 and at that time, the first service game we had, all the pressure was mounting up. But at 0-30, Radek hit three excellent serves and Adam actually got into the play. He crossed on one Rohan's point and then crossed again on the next one and on 30-30, Radek hit a second serve on the line and that would have given us the break point," explained Paes.

"Momentum is such an important thing in doubles. Momentum is the key. If we had broken at that point and gone up, we would have been sitting here with a different story here," he said.

Paes said it would be interesting to to see how Jiri Vesley, who struggled yesterday against Somdev Devvarman, turns out tomorrow in the reverse singles.

"What I saw from Vesley yesterday was not normal. I will be interested to see how Vesley comes out. It will be very interesting to see how players handle the heat tomorrow and what their playing styles are going to be. If Yuki (Bhambri) can keep Vesley on the court longer and longer, then it is a big chance we have to take the tie to the fifth match," he pointed out.

Asked if he was sure that the Czechs would play Vesley tomorrow, Paes said: "No. But they will. Because after Adam and Radek played today, I am not sure whether they would want to come out and play tomorrow.

Heat and humidity is a big thing and after playing today, I don't think Radek will take that chance. Also as far Adam goes, I don't think the Czechs would take that chance. I may be wrong but I don't see any of the doubles guys coming out tomorrow."

Paes rejected any suggestion of inadequate practice of him and Bopanna together as the cause of Saturday's loss. "As you look at teams coming together, this is probably the first match that Radek and Adam played together. As much as you are looking at our combination, whether we gel or not together, see how the opposition team never played a match together. But yet when they came in on the day, they won the big points," he said.

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