Fed Cup: India beat Hong Kong, take on Taipei to avoid relegation
On Friday, for the primary time on the ongoing Fed Cup ties in Delhi, the hosts have been the higher crew. Which isn’t saying a lot, since opponents Hong Kong (the crew with the worst mixed rating) didn’t set the bar too excessive to start with. The consolatory 3-Zero win, thus, must be put into context.
The excellent news is that India will take on Chinese Taipei, who completed fourth in Pool B, in Saturday’s Asia/Oceania Group 1 relegation playoff. The dangerous information is that there have been sufficient frailties on show for the crew to harbour hopes of transferring up to the World Group anytime quickly.
While she lastly picked up a win, Karman Kaur Thandi put in one other nervy, inconsistent efficiency on her dwelling courtroom. The 19-year-old made a meal of a simple match towards world No. 761 Eudice Chong, dropping her serve thrice en route a 6-3, 6-4 win.
Thandi, ranked 284, broke her opponent within the second recreation of the match, earlier than conceding serve within the subsequent recreation. The players exchanged service breaks for 3 extra video games, earlier than Thandi held twice and served out the set with an ace. In the opening recreation of the second set — a nine-minute affair that includes 4 deuce factors — Thandi failed to convert a break level, and was damaged to give away a Zero-2 lead. A proficient participant would have consolidated the break, however Chong, who plies her commerce within the third division of NCAA in United States, conceded two breaks to lose the match.
“I think Karman needs to be a little calm and patient,” captain Ankita Bhambri mentioned after the tie. “She needs to take the right amount of risk at the right time. Some players will tire you out, some will play their shots. You have to see which balls are to be hit, and need to put the ball in on big points.”
Frustratingly, Thandi has lived up to her billing of a prime prospect in patches. The six-footer has unsettled the likes of Yafan Wang (125) and Zarina Diyas (55) together with her sturdy service, and on Friday, Chong, like others, selected to obtain from effectively behind the baseline. In the three matches, Thandi has racked up eight aces, greater than every other participant. But the inconsistency of her serves and groundstrokes has been a difficulty.
“It’s not easy playing Fed Cup in India,” says coach Aditya Sachdeva. “She is faltering at the big points, but she’s only going to improve with more matches.”
The victory within the first singles meant Ankita Raina — who defeated Ling Zhang 6-3, 6-2 — didn’t have to pull a double responsibility for the third straight time, as Bhambri handed Pranjala Yadlapalli the Fed Cup cap. Yadlapalli, who turns 19 subsequent month, teamed with Prarthana Thombare to beat Kwan Yau Ng and Ching Hu Wu 6-2, 6-4. Like the Thandi match, the doubles rubber too featured trade of breaks in 5 straight video games, as each pairs misplaced the plot within the second set, with the Indians prevailing with a ultimate break.
The doubles conundrum has the potential to be a significant headache for India. With stalwart Sania Mirza out with an damage, seasoned Thombare was anticipated to play the anchor. However the 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist with Mirza failed to shine towards China and Kazakhstan, and the losses proved to be the distinction between India enjoying to attain the World Group and battling to keep within the Zonal group. On Thursday, Raina hinted at lack of chemistry and expertise teaming with Thombare being the rationale for the outcomes.
Against Hong Kong although, the chirpy 25-year-old Thombare spurred her companion on. While Yadlapalli’s booming serves compelled each Hong Kong receivers to keep again on return, Thombare chipped away with environment friendly poach volleys.
The opponents — each ranked above 1000 — bought a gap within the fifth recreation of the second set, which noticed Yadlapalli ship down an ace sandwiched by two double-faults. The break set off the five-game lengthy sequence which ended with the Indians breaking their opponents to love.
“We saw that Pranjala wasn’t playing as well so we started attacking her a little bit, but we couldn’t maintain our game,” mentioned Karan Rastogi, captain of Hong Kong, who will take on Thailand within the second relegation playoff. “At this level you can’t have these many ups and downs. But we knew whatever matches we win this week will be upsets. The Indian girls were stronger, fitter and more aggressive.”