Ankita Raina and team India bounce back in Fed Cup

Rutuja Bhosale led a strong comeback for India on the second day of the women’s competition.

By Sandeep Banerjee ·

Indian tennis players Ankita Raina and Rutuja Bhosale starred for their country as they bounced back from Wednesday’s 0-3 defeat to China with a 3-0 win against Uzbekistan on Thursday at the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania women’s tennis tournament in Dubai.

In the first rubber, Rutuja Bhosale came back from a set down to win 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 against Akgul Amanmuradova. That was followed by a series of straight-sets victories for India, as Ankita Raina defeated Sabina Sharipova 7-5, 6-1, while Riya Bhatia and Sowjanya Bavisetti trounced the Uzbekistan pairing of Yasmina Karimjanova and Setora Normurodova 6-3, 6-1 in the doubles match.

Ankita Raina. 

Impressive comeback from Rutuja Bhosale

Rutuja Bhosale’s opening set got off to a less-than-ideal start as she succumbed to Amanmuradova’s superior service game that saw the Uzbek serve three aces and win six games in a row.

However, after being put on the backfoot, Rutuja Bhosale put on a commendable comeback in the second set, reversing the previous set’s scores, before backing that performance up with a 7-5 win in the third set to put India ahead.

Ankita Raina singles out Sabina Sharipova

In her singles match against Sabina Sharipova, Ankita Raina put on a performance reminiscent of her recent successful outings such as at the Thailand Open and the ITF India 01A final.

Although she lost her opening serve in the first set, Ankita Raina quickly returned the favour to get back on equal footing.

After having her service game broken yet again by Sharipova, the latter went on a steady run of consistency for the next four games that made it seem like she would walk away with it.

But then came a double fault from Sharipova, which Ankita Raina wasted no time in capitalising on, as she traded breaks with her opponent for the second time.

Finally, after three set points in the 12th game, the Indian tennis ace finally converted her fourth set point to lead the match 1-0.

The second set was a more straightforward affair, as Ankita Raina broke Sharipova three-to-one en route to a dominant 6-1 win marking a satisfying comeback from her agonising defeat to China’s Qiang Wang on Wednesday.

Doubling down for a trifecta

Riya Bhatia and Sowjanya Bavisetti delivered the most impressive victory of the day with a flawless service game, as they never once were broken by Yasmina Karimjanova and Setora Normurodova in either of the two sets.

What’s next for India at the Fed Cup

India are currently fourth among the six in their Fed Cup pool. The Indian tennis team will take on leaders Korea next, on Thursday, hoping to be among the top two sides by the end of the tournament and qualify for April’s Federation Cup playoffs.