Ankita, Rutuja stumble as India succumb in Fed Cup opener

Sowjanya Bavisetti and Riya Bhatia also lost in the doubles as China dominated India in the tie.

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

India suffered a 3-0 loss to China in their opening match of the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania women’s tennis tournament at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on Tuesday.

Up against one of the toughest teams in the field, India lost both their singles matches featuring Rutuja Bhosale and Ankita Raina.

Rutuja Bhosale lost 4-6, 2-6 to Shuai Zhang, while Ankita Raina succumbed to a 6-1, 2-6, 4-6 loss against Wang Qiang. Sowjanya Bavisetti and Riya Bhatia lost 0-6, 1-6 in the doubles against Shuai Peng and Yifan Xu.

Ankita Raina and Samantha Murray lose in straight sets at Prague Challenger 

Rutuja Bhosale was in action first with the 23-year-old starting well, taking a 3-1 lead after getting an early break against Shuai Zhang.

The Chinese player, though, showed everyone why she’s world no. 35 by recovering to take the opening set 6-4. She then broke Rutuja Bhosale early in the second set to move into a 3-1 lead. 

Shuai Zhang, in fact, was even more dominant in the second set, winning it 6-2 to give China a 1-0 lead in the tie.

Ankita Raina goes down battling in three sets

Indian tennis ace Ankita Raina was up next for her country and she too went down despite putting up a valiant fight that took the match to three sets. She broke the world no. 29 twice in the first set to win it 6-1 but Wang Qiang made a strong comeback to ultimately emerge victorious.

Despite losing serve twice, Wang Qiang broke the Indian tennis player on four occasions to take the second set 6-2 before holding her nerve in a tight deciding set to win it 6-4 and extend China’s advantage to 2-0.

Sowjanya Bavisetti and Riya Bhatia were involved in the third rubber but didn’t manage to offer much resistance. The Indian tennis duo went down in straight sets as China capped off a dominant showing.

Even though India may have lost the tie, they can take heart from the fact that it wasn’t all straightforward for the Chinese – possibly their toughest opponents from the field as alluded to.

They still have four matches against Uzbekistan, Korea Republic, Chinese Taipei and Indonesia. And with two teams qualifying for the next stage, India will fancy their chances of a strong finish to get into the top two for a spot in the next round.