India staved off an unexpected scare from lower-ranked Thailand as Ankita Raina won both her singles and doubles matches. With this victory, she gave a lead to the Indian side 2-1, in their Fed Cup 2019 opener on Thursday.
Karman lost, Ankita won in the 1st day of Fed Cup 2019
Karman Kaur Thandi who is ranked 211, took the court first. She suffered a shocking 2-6,6-3,3-6 defeat from Nudinda Luangnam, who is ranked as low as 712 in the world.
The responsibility to bring the team back now rested on country’s number one singles player Ankita. After losing the first set, she secured a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4 win over Peangtarn Plipuech in the second singles.
Hard fought Win today over Thailand! We dug deep to pull off a memorable win!! Thank you Ambassador Prabhat Kumar and all other fellow Indians for coming out and supporting us.
We play for India… we fight for India!!! #IndianFedCupTeam #JaiHind pic.twitter.com/DqecIun0St
— Vishal Uppal (@bigvish10) February 7, 2019
With scores 1-1, the doubles became the conclusive rubber and both the singles players were fielded by captain Vishal Uppal.
Ankita and Karman’s thrilling win doubles
After struggling for 2 hours and 38 minutes, the Indian pair Ankita and Karman went past the fighting Thai combination Peangtarn and Nudinda 6-4,6-7(6), 7-5 in a thriller game.
Post-match, Ankita said, “I know my opponent was tricky. I have beaten her and lost to her as well. More than my opponent I had to fight mentally the cold which I don’t like, and I am really happy I have passed my own test.”
“Tomorrow is another day, and we have to fight better than today’’, said Ankita, about the tie against the host on Friday, in the three-team group.
Uppal commented that India did not play as per their previous performances but showed an excellent fightback to secure a tie.
He told the PTI after the match, “Thailand played exceptionally well today but we dug deep to beat them. Our lapse in concentration made our task tougher for us.”
He further added, “Karman was not at her best today and Ankita also played patchy. In the doubles, we went from almost winning at 6-4 in the tie-break to almost losing 3-5 in the final set.”
“Recovery will be very important now, both physically and mentally. We will try our best’’, said Vishaal who was quite grateful that the Ambassador Prabhat Kumar cheered the team with his presence.
India next play hosts Kazakhstan on Friday.
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