Sania Mirza, Rutuja Bhosale keep India ahead in Fed Cup

The Indian tennis team beat Chinese Taipei to consolidate their place in the second spot in the Group I, Asia-Oceania category behind China.

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

The Indian tennis team recorded a hard-fought 2-1 win over Chinese Taipei to strengthen their hold on the second spot in the ongoing Fed Cup women’s tennis tournament in Dubai on Friday.

Competing in the Group I, Asia-Oceania section, the Indian women were led by wins from Rutuja Bhosale and the doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina at the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Stadium.

While the win took them closer to a playoff berth, the Indian tennis team will have to ensure than they come out flying against Indonesia in their final group tie on Saturday if they are to graduate to the next level in the competition.

Rutuja Bhosale builds on

The Indians were off to a nervy start as Rutuja Bhosale was forced to rally from the brink of defeat to take the opening rubber 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (6).

Lining up against the Ya Yi Yang, the Indian tennis player had to dig herself out on a mid-game slump to get past the talented 15-year-old to hand India the early advantage.

Having split the opening two sets, Rutuja Bhosale had herself to blame as she stared at a mountain to climb with the score reading 0-4 in the decider.

But the Indian held her nerve and stayed in the match with some quality tennis to push the encounter into a tie-breaker.

Even in the deciding tie-breaker, Rutuja Bhosale chose to take the difficult route as she saved three match points before wrapping up a match that lasted for over two hours and 40 minutes.

Ankita Raina struggles in singles

While Rutuja Bhosale ensured that she continued her winning run at the Fed Cup, her senior pro Ankita Raina couldn’t replicate the same as she went down to En Shuo Liang 6-3, 2-6, 3-6.

Though the Indian tennis player took the opening set in a convincing manner, Ankita Raina couldn’t build on that momentum as she let her opponent crawl back into the match.

Ankita Raina often found it difficult to read her opponent’s game as Liang mixed her game well to surprise the world number 160 with her shot selection.

Having broken the Indian early in the third, Liang went on to capitalise on Ankita Raina’s faults to take the second rubber and bring Chinese Taipei back into the contest.

The loss, however, didn’t stop Ankita Raina as she returned to the court to partner Sania Mirza and lead India to a memorable win after another hard-fought three-set match. 

The Indian duo was off to a flying start against Latisha Chan and Liang, taking the opening set 6-2. But the pair from Chinese Taipei was not to hold back as they took the second set 6-4.

Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina, however, ensured that there were no more slip-ups in their game as they won the final set to seal the tie after a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win in the final match. 

What next for India at the Fed Cup

Having strengthened their place in the second spot behind China, the Indian tennis team will hope to wrap up the competition with another winning show against Indonesia on Saturday. 

A win on Saturday will assure will India a place in Fed Cup play-offs, scheduled for April.