India face Latvia in maiden Billie Jean King Cup play-offs

The Indian tennis team, which made it to the play-offs of the erstwhile Fed Cup for the first time, will be aiming for a spot in the 2022 qualifiers.

By Rahul Venkat ·

India will face Latvia for a spot in the Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers for 2022 in their first play-offs campaign in April next year.

The Billie Jean King Cup, earlier known as the Fed Cup, is a team event for women’s tennis players who represent their country in singles and doubles matches.

The play-offs were originally scheduled to be played in April this year but were pushed to February 2021 as the tennis calendar was disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the play-offs have now been postponed to 16-17 April, 2021. Latvia will get to choose the venue for the play-offs tie with India, as they are a seeded team.

The Indian tennis team, led by the veteran Sania Mirza and the impressive Ankita Raina, had made its first-ever Billie Jean King Cup playoffs in March earlier this year when India finished second behind China in Asia/Oceania Group I.

India had a poor start to their campaign, as they lost 3-0 to China in their opening encounter in the group. However, the team bounced back to win 3-0 against Uzbekistan in the next tie.

Sania Mirza joined the Indian tennis team after the first two ties and the veteran led India to three consecutive identical 2-1 victories over South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Indonesia to ensure second spot in the group and progress to the play-offs for the first time.

If India win their play-offs tie against Latvia, they will earn a spot in the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers for 2022, where they can challenge the best teams in the world to play in the Finals next season.

However, a loss in the play-offs will mean that India will have to work their way up the Asia/Oceania Group I stage again in 2022.