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Ankita wages lone battle as India suffer second defeat, losing to Kazakhstan 1-2 in Fed Cup

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Ankita Raina waged a lone battle winning yet another single against the much higher ranked player but that was not enough as India suffered their second successive defeat going down 1-2 to Kazakhstan in the Federation Cup Asia-Oceania group-1 tennis tournament at the RK Khanna Stadium, New Delhi on Thursday.

India had lost to China in the opening tie with the same margin and today it was no different.

19-year-old Karman Kaur Thandi lost her match against world ranked 55 Zarina Diyas in straight sets 6-3,6-2   to give the visitors 1-0  lead.  Divas turned out to be too strong for the Indian who just could not get bearings right and looked tentative throughout.

The first match loss put extra pressure on Ankita Raina, but the 25-year-old player from Gujarat again came up with a stellar performance as she stunned French Open quarterfinalist, Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.

The 253 ranked Indian was not overawed either by her rival or by the occasion, She again thrilled her supporters the way she played for about 156 minutes to surprise 81 ranked Yulia.

Ankita made light of her ranking as she started the match with flourish, breaking Yulia once in the first set to surge.

However, she had some medical issues in the second set and she lost her focus. The Kazakh took advantage of the situation and broke Ankita’s serve to take a 4-1 lead.  She again broke the Indian win the set and draw parity.

The third set was bitterly contested in which Ankita was forced to take a medical timeout before returning to the court. The Kazakh took advantage of the situation and earned a service break early to take the lead.  She held her to make it 3-1 lead. The Indian managed to get her rhythm back by holding her serve to make it  2-3.    Yulia failed to hold her next serve and it was 3-3

Both held their serves and it became 4-4. However, Ankita after holding her next service broke Yulia to win the set and the match.

However, in the doubles, Ankita and Prarthana Thombare were no match to Zarina Diyas and Yulia Putintseva. The Kazakh pair virtually decimated Indian challenge winning 6-0, 6-4 to claim the tie.

Having suffered two defeats, India will have now have to beat Hong Kong on Friday, to stay in group-1 for the next season. The last two teams will be relegated to group-2.

Though Hong Kong, making their debut into the group, lost to Kazakhstan, they created a big scare for China by winning a singles match against China.

The other results:

Pool-A:

China beat  Hong Kong 2-1 (Yafan Wang bt Eudice Wong Chong 6-3, 6-2; Lin Zhu lost to LIng Zhang 3-6, 4-6; Yafan Wang /Zhaoxuan Yang bt Eudice Wong Chong /Ling Zhang 6-1, 6-0).

Pool-B:

Japan beat Korea 3-0 (Kurumi Nara bt Jeong Sunam 6-3, 6-0; Nao Hibino bt Han Na-Lae 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-2; Miyu Kato   / Makoto Ninomiya bt Kim Na Ri / Lee So-Ra 6-2, 6-2).

Thailand beat ChineseTaipei 2-1 (Patcharin Cheapchandej lost to Pei-Chi Lee 6-4, 4-6, 3-6; Luksika Kumkhum bt Chieh-Yu Hsu 6-0, 6-1; Luksika Kumkhum / Peangtarn Plipuech bt Ching Wen Hsu / Pei-Chi Lee 7-5, 6-2).