CHENNAI (Reuters) - India returned to the Davis Cup world group on Sunday after staging a remarkable comeback from 2-0 down on the opening day to beat Brazil in the playoff tie.
Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna won the reverse singles against higher ranked opponents, to clinch the tie in India's favor. Both players had lost their singles matches in five sets on Friday.
Doubles specialists Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi had made it 1-2 for the hosts on Saturday, beating Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares 6-4 7-6 6-1.
On Sunday, India drew level when Thomaz Bellucci, ranked 27th in the world, conceded the first of the reverse singles to 113th-ranked Devvarman midway through the second set. Devvarman was leading 7-6 4-0 when Bellucci retired due to dehydration in the searing Chennai heat.
Ranked 479th, Bopanna then defeated world number 75 Ricardo Mello 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 to make the tie 3-2 for India.
"After the heartbreak we had on Friday, losing those two marathons...to turn it around against Brazil and win today, it takes five lionhearts to do that. We are very proud of what we achieved," the 36-year old Bhupathi told a news conference.
"I keep saying that in Davis Cup you throw the rankings out of the window. It's all about the team. We are back in the world group where we deserve to be," Paes, who made his Davis Cup debut 21 years ago against Japan, said.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John Mehaffey)