Ramkumar, despite his limitations against a much-superior rival, fought his heart out in a 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 1-6 defeat to world number 26 Feliciano Lopez in the first match.      

Lopez played in place of originally nominated Rafael Nadal, who had a wrist injury problem. The whole build up to the tie was focused on Nadal as tennis fans hoped to see the 14-time Grand Slam champion in action.

While Ramkumar's spirited response to the challenge kept the 4000-strong fans excited, Myneni was blown away by world number 13 David Ferrer, the 2013 French Open finalist.

A big serve, his biggest weapon, was nowhere to be seen as Myneni, who qualified for the US Open, melted in a 1-6, 2-6, 1–6 defeat against his Spanish rival.

Ferrer returned the ball like a machine, literally toying with the Indian, ranked 137, in the one-hour 27-minute match.

As Myneni struggled to cope with a super-fit Ferrer, getting on board became a mountainous task for the Indian. He managed to take just four games in the match. He committed as many as 28 unforced errors to 11 of Ferrer.

The Spaniard won a total of 84 points to 46 of Myneni.

India need to win Saturday's doubles match to keep the tie alive against the five-time world champions Spain. It remains to be seen who Leander Paes plays with tomorrow.

At the draw, Paes and Myneni were nominated to play against Feliciano and Marc Lopez, the reigning French Open champions.

If India win the doubles, 43-year-old Paes will become the most successful doubles player in Davis Cup history. He is tied on 42 wins with Italian great Nicola Pietrangeli, who also holds the record for most singles wins (78) in Davis Cup.

Ramkumar, egged on by the capacity crowd, gave his all but it was not enough to worry his mighty opponent. The packed stadium backed 203-ranked Ramkumar with the tunes of a band team and he certainly gave them a few moments to cheer and celebrate.

There was no doubt about the superiority of left-handed Lopez as he controlled the proceedings with ease. Ramkumar did try to fight it out but the Spaniard always had the match in his iron grip.

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