Fed Cup: Ankita Raina, Karman Kaur ensure India stay in Group I
Ankita Raina prevailed over her rival in a long-drawn dog-fight after Karman Kaur Thandi’s spectacular win as India retained their place in the Asia/Oceania Group I in the Fed Cup after beating Chinese Taipei 2-Zero in the relegation Play-off in New Delhi on Saturday.
Rising to the event, Karman produced a 7-6(4) 6-3 win over a artful Lee Pei-Chi handy India a 1-Zero lead in the do-or-die tie.
Ankita, who had performed some unbelievable matches towards higher-ranked rivals, then ran right into a wily left-hander Chieh-Yu Hsu, who’s ranked at a humble 377 however pressured Ankita to play out of her pores and skin.
Eventually, after an energy-sapping two hour and 54 minutes, Ankita emerged a 6-4 5-7 6-1 winner to ensure that India stay in the Group I.
Japan certified for the World Group Play-off after beating Kazakhstan 2-1. Both Japan and Kazakhstan had remained unbeaten in their Pools.
Ankita, taking part in the tennis of her life, remained unbeaten in her singles matches in the competitors, profitable all her 4 matches.
Running into an opponent who, being a left-hander, fed Ankita quite a lot of angled balls to her backhand, the Indian lady needed to re-work technique as she was unable to hit the balls deep.
It was a technique which had paid her good dividends in earlier matches however taking part in on a slower court docket made her job powerful as hitting the ball laborious was by no means sufficient.
With nearly each ball coming again and no free factors out there, Ankita needed to dig deep to discover a method in breaking the stable defence of her opponent, whose finest rank was 224.
It was extremely a superior sport for a participant, ranked simply 377. To Ankita’s credit score she saved herself in the match with perseverance.
The India primary took a while to settle as she fended off 4 breakpoints in the opening sport itself however dropped serve when she hit a forehand vast on the fifth.
A volley winner gave Ankita an opportunity to get the break again however couldn’t convert. It was the primary time in the competitors that Ankita was down Zero-2 in a match. However, she gained three video games in a row to take 3-2 lead, breaking Hsu in the fourth sport.
She broke Hsu once more in the eighth for a 5-3 lead however Hsu was not able to throw in the towel and broke again. The Indian although sealed the set when the Taipei participant made two unforced errors.
The dog-fight turned intense in the second set, which was fought tooth and nail for one hour and 22 minutes.
Hsu broke Ankita in the fifth and then saved three breakpoints in the following sport throughout eight deuce factors. It was now flip of Ankita to save lots of a number of deuce factors as she saved two break factors in the following sport.
After breaking Hsu twice, Ankita saved two set factors to make it 5-5 however misplaced serve in the 11th and the Taipei participant served out the set in the 12th.
Hsu took a medical timeout to deal with her left shoulder instantly after drawing parity. It form of broke her momentum and Ankita ran away with the win, going all out.
Earlier, Lee not solely struck the balls laborious and clear but in addition was very artful. She stayed in management of the factors on her serve, making it laborious for the native lady. In all the match, it by no means seemed like Lee is a participant ranked outdoors 450
Karman, ranked 284, performed significantly better than her earlier matches however her sport saved going up and down. She served effectively on the slower present court docket and maybe had her finest serving day of the competitors.
Her serve got here good on essential factors, which was a key issue in her massive win in the present day. She additionally performed greater factors significantly better than earlier days.
Karman produced good service video games in the opening tie-breaker when she went up 5-4, in the primary sport of the second set when she was down a break level, in the seventh sport when she was down Zero-30 and lastly whereas serving for the match.
She fired seven aces but in addition missed a number of simple put-away volleys.
The two players went neck and neck in the opening set until Karman broke Lee in the eighth. Lee hit a forehand vast at 30-30 and then double faulted.
Serving for the set, Karman dedicated a flurry of errors as she netted a volley and adopted it up with stroke errors. A protracted forehand put her down by a break level and allowed Lee to interrupt again by sending a backhand lengthy.
Eventually, a tie-breaker was pressured in which the Indian lady prevailed. Down 1-2, she double-broke Lee, step by step moved up 5-4 and sealed the set with a forehand winner.
Karman saved a breakpoint in the opening set, broke the Taipei participant in the eighth sport and served out the match in the following sport.