BANGALORE, India (AFP) - India's top player Somdev Devvarman won the first reverse singles in the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie on Sunday to help the hosts draw level 2-2 with Serbia.
Devvarman, ranked 144th in the world, rallied past number 61 Dusan Lajovic 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a thrilling four-hour encounter on the hard court of Bangalore.
The deciding fifth and final rubber later on Sunday night will be contested by the 153rd-ranked Yuki Bhambri of India against number 107 Filip Krajinovic.
Serbia had won both sets of opening singles on Friday before India fought back with a five-set victory in Saturday's doubles.
Serbia, the 2010 champions, are without world number one Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki for the play-off tie. Djokovic pulled out citing fatigue and family reasons after being stunned by Japan's Kei Nishikori in the US Open semi-final last week. Tipsarevic and Troicki were injured.
India are looking to return to the elite 16-nation World Group after spending the last two years in the Asia-Oceania zonal competition.