The 2019 Fed Cup is the 57th version of the most vital competition to be played amongst the international countries and India strongly aims for its maiden spot in the World Group II playoffs.
The India Women Tennis team will be contending in the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I for a fourth straight year. The Fed Cup playoffs are to take place between Feb 6-9, 2019 in Astana. Kazakhstan.
— Karman Kaur Thandi (@KarmanThandi) February 1, 2019
India is grouped along with Kazakhstan and Thailand in Pool A. In Pool B, China, Korea, Indonesia and Pacific Oceania will battle against each other. Later on, the teams topping the respective pools will play against each other. The winner will make the cut to the World Group II play-offs which will take place in April later this year.
— Ankita Raina (@ankita_champ) February 2, 2019-- Advertisement --
The teams that finish third in each pool will play against each other in a bid to stay in Group I. The losing team will be relegated to Asia/Oceania Group II in 2020. The team that finishes fourth in Group B will be by default sent to the Asia/Oceania Group II.
All the matches will be played indoors due to the sub-zero temperature in Astana.
India will begin its action in the Fed Cup playoff on Thursday, 7th Feb against Thailand, before clashing with hosts Kazakhstan on Friday.
India’s squad at Fed Cup 2019
India’s best singles players Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi will be punching their best when the battle begins on Thursday.
Squad: The Indian team is led by Vishal Uppal which consists of Ankita Raina, Karman Kaur Thandi, Mahak Jain, Riya Bhatia and Prarthana Thombare.
The team is coached by Ankita Bhambri. The injuries of Rutuja Bhosale and Pranjala Yadlapalli paved the way for Mahak Jain and Riya Bhatia.
Serve would be key on indoor courts in Fed Cup: India coach Ankita Bhambri
“To be very honest, the girls are improving every year. Karman is stronger and fitter while Ankita is also strong and has more experience. They need to put it together,” Bhambri told PTI.
“It is important to serve well (indoor) and reach out to the ball faster. If you start a point well, the chances of ending it will also get better,” Bhambri said.
Looking forward to the competition: Vishal Uppal
Leading the Indian women contingent, Vishal Uppal told PTI, “I am extremely hopeful. Last time we lost the duplicates against Kazakhstan. Ankita and Karman are playing much better pairs now. We have a decent shot. It really is great that our players have been occupied in competitions. Indeed, Mahak Jain and Riya Bhatia are contending in Jodhpur this week. We are booked to achieve Astana early, to get acclimatized to the conditions and get ready well”
His positive approach towards India’s performance seems justifiable as two ace players in the squad, Ankita and Karman are conceivably playing their best tennis right now.
“For our group, it involves three days of rivalry. [I’m] beyond any doubt Ankita and Karman will almost certainly share the heap, as they are experts. On the off chance that we try to accomplish something, we must be prepared to battle it out in each elastic,” Vishal concluded.
Indian Tennis Performance Preview
Ankita Raina is unarguable is in her best form. She had beaten Yulia Putintseva in the tie against Kazakhstan a year ago when India host the Fed Cup in Delhi. Be that as it may, the wiry Karman couldn’t pull her weight at that point and the predictions say that Ankita can possibly pull it off this time.
#firstwinoftheseason #winforindia #makingindiaproud #indianathlete #tennis #itf #singapore #sportsauthorityofgujarat #yonex #ongc #jaihind?? #ankitaraina_official #ankitaraina pic.twitter.com/DxU2nCYPUL
— Ankita Raina (@ankita_champ) January 21, 2019
“The plan and determination is the same. I have always played my best tennis when playing for the country and hope to do the same. I am not looking at the rankings and focusing on myself and the game I want to execute. Also, I am analysing the opponents’ game,” Ankita told PTI.
Talking about conditions and courts, Raina said, “I am able to adapt much better since I have been here three times before.”
— Karman Kaur Thandi (@KarmanThandi) February 6, 2019
20-year-old Karman Thandi is India’s second-leading singles tennis player. She will play in her third Fed Cup nomination. Ranked No.211 in the world, Thandi has a win-loss record of 3-4 in singles ties at the Fed Cup. On indoor hard courts, she has a win-loss record of 1-2 at the Fed Cup.
Ankita has ascended to her vocation best spot of 168 after she won a title in Singapore. The tall Karman positioned 210, has been quick to show her progress from a year ago.
In all possibilities, China will top Pool B and it will be between India and Kazakhstan in Pool A.
For the latest updates on Indian Sports, stay tuned with KreedOn.