Ankita Raina tried hard to resurrect India’s fortunes by putting up a fight against the World No. 43 Yulia Putintseva. However, hosting nation Kazakhstan was too good a match for the Indian, winning by a 3-0 margin in the last league match of the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania Group-1 event in Astana on Friday.
It felt that the hard-fought victory over Thailand on Thursday had taken some steam out of the Indian team.
Kazakhstan, on the other hand, had a day’s rest and thus looked fresh to deal with a tricky Indian team. Tricky, because it had been surprisingly triumphant in the last edition when Ankita defeated Yulia Putintseva in three sets.
However this time around, it was the 24-year-old Yulia who was victorious.
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The Indian Fed Cup team went down to a much stronger Kazakhstan. Ankita lost to 43 ranked Putinsteva, while Karman lost to 96th ranked Diyas.
As a result, India stay in Asia Oceania Group 1 pic.twitter.com/eoTJIiLZBU
— Indian Tennis Daily (@IndiantennisFan) February 8, 2019
Having made it to the quarterfinals of French Open last year, the Kazakh won against her Indian opponent easily in sets of 6-1, 7-6(4). That win sealed the deal for Kazakhstan after the 97th ranked Zarina Diyas had gotten the better of Karman Thandi by 6-3, 6-2.
Although Ankita did well to make a come back in the second set, it was all too late for her. Yulia stepped it up after the 4-4 game in a tie-break.
Captain Praises Ankita
“Ankita tried her hardest. Yulia played really solid & didn’t give any free points. In the tie-breaker, she made only 1 error,” said the captain of the Indian team Vishaal Uppal.
Although Karman’s match against Zarina seemed one-sided, Vishaal praised the tall player for her better fare.
“Karman played a much better match today, & hopefully she’ll learn & grow,” reflected the captain.
After the defeat of Ankita in the second match, the captain switched the doubles team to give provide Prarthana Thombare and Bhatia a taste of competition.
“I rested Karman & Ankita in the doubles, as they need time to recover for tomorrow. We want to beat Korea. It’ll be a tough tie & we need to be physically ready for it,” added Vishaal.
India will next play against Korea for the third place position. Thailand will take on Indonesia in the relegation play-off. The Pacific Oceania team has been relegated after finishing fourth in the other group.
Kazakhstan 3-0 India
Zarina Diyas 2-0 Karman Thandi | 6-3, 6-2
Yulia Putintseva 2-0 Ankita Raina | 6-1, 7-6(4)
Anna Danilina-Galina Voskoboeva 2-0 Riya Bhatia-Prarthana Thombare | 6-1, 6-1