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History On International Women's Day - India Women's Tennis Team Enter Fed Cup Playoffs For 1st Time

Ankita Raina Pulled Off A Crucial Singles Win Against Talented Aldila Sutjiadi To Lock The Tie 1-1 After Rutuja Bhosale Suffered A Crushing Defeat Against An Unranked Priska Madelyn Nugroho As The Indian Fed Cup Team Created History By Progressing To The Play-offs For The First Time Ever.

PTI | Updated on: 08 Mar 2020, 10:47:53 AM
ankita raina tennis

Ankita Raina helped India win 2-1 against Indonesia as they entered the playoffs for the first time in the history of the Fed Cup tennis tournament. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Dubai:

The Indian Fed cup team created history by progressing to the play-offs for the first time ever with Ankita Raina leading the side to a 2-1 win over Indonesia in Dubai. Ankita Raina on Saturday night pulled off a crucial singles win against talented Aldila Sutjiadi to lock the tie 1-1 after Rutuja Bhosale suffered a crushing defeat against an unranked Priska Madelyn Nugroho. Up against the 16-year-old Indonesian, who is ranked 15th on the ITF junior circuit, Rutuja lost 3-6 6-0 3-6 in one hour and 43 minutes in the opening singles.

Ankita Raina, who lost her previous two singles, demolished the challenge of Sutjiadi 6-3 6-3 in the second rubber. She then combined with seasoned Sania Mirza to beat Sutziyadi and Nugroho 7-6(4) 6-0 to seal India's place in the play-offs where they will take on either Latvia or the Netherlands in April. They overcame a sluggish start as they were trailing 1-4 but regrouped to dominate the decisive set. India finished second in the six-team Group with four wins in a row after losing the opening tie to China, who remained unbeaten in the tournament.

Since earning their place back in Asia/Oceania Group I in 2016, India has remained in the regional group. With the rise of Ankita, things began to improve. Rutuja also played a key role as she provided winning starts in a few ties, sharing the burden with Ankita. Sania's return to Fed Cup after four years also helped as her inspirational presence and guidance helped the side immensely. India's non-playing captain Vishal Uppal is delighted with the result.

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"It's a historic moment and to be part of it feels surreal. I am proud of each and every member of our team -- the players, physio, coach, manager. We all came together and worked towards a common goal," Uppal told PTI. "The key was to do the fundamentals well and keep it simple on court. As a team everyone stepped up one day or the other which is very important. I hope this win will give a big boost to women's tennis in India."

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First Published : 08 Mar 2020, 10:47:53 AM