Fed Cup: Kazakhstan beat India as Ankita Raina is the lone fighter once again

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Fed Cup: Kazakhstan beat India as Ankita Raina is the lone fighter once again

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SportsCafe Desk

02/08/2018

Though India lost their second consecutive game against Kazakhstan in Fed Cup, Ankita Raina was on fire once again in an inspirational win over a Yulia Putintseva. India will face Hong Kong next after getting knocked out of the tournament as they are set to finish last in their group.

After being humiliated by China in their first match, India had their last chance against Kazakhstan that they floundered. While Ankita Raina had put up an impressive performance to beat world number 120, Lin Zhu in straight sets of 6-3, 6-2 in the previous game, the 25-year old was up for the task again, as she showed brilliant temperament to outsmart Yulia Putintseva who was ranked as high as 27 last year.

The Ahmedabad-born didn’t just grind it out on the court but also waived off poor umpiring decisions to emerge a 6-3 1-6 6-4 winner in a match that went on for two hours and 25 minutes. An error from Putintseva during the first set handed Ankita two break chances and the Indian converted the second one. She was rewarded for her sheer hard work as Ankita never let Putintseva breathe easy with split-second returns on her opponent's backhand.

Before Ankita could win, Karman Kaur Thandi gave an ample display of her talent but lacked consistency and lost the opening singles game of the Asia/Oceania Group I tie to world number 55 Zarina Diyas.

The doubles duo once again proved to be a weak link for India as Ankita and partner Prarthana Thombare were ripped apart by a scoreline of 0-6 4-6 by Diyas and Putintseva. Prarthana had been focusing on doubles for quite a while now, but she failed to support partner Ankita in the decisive match for the second day in a row.

Today’s defeat means that India are out of the World Group Play-offs race. From Pool A, it will be either be China or Kazakhstan who will face the winner of Pool B for a place in the play-off, scheduled to be played in April.

India, are set to take on Hong Kong in their next match,  as they will strive to maintain their place in the Asia/Oceania Group I.

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