Fed Cup: India make play-offs for first time

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DUBAI — The Indian Fed cup team on Saturday created history by earning a promotion to the play-offs for the first time ever with Ankita Raina leading the side to 2-1 win over Indonesia here.

Ankita beat Aldila Sutjiadi to lock the tie 1-1 after Rutuja Bhosale lost to unranked Priska Madelyn Nugroho.

Up against the 16-year-old Indonesian, who is ranked 15th on the ITF junior circuit, Rutuja lost 3-6 6-0 3-6 in the opening singles. Ankita, who lost her previous two singles, beat Sutjiadi 6-3 6-3 in the second rubber.

She then combined with Sania Mirza to beat Sutziyadi and Nugroho 7-6(4) 6-0 to seal India’s place in the play-offs, where they will take on either Latvia or the Netherlands in April.

India finished second in the six-team group with four wins in a row after losing the opening tie to China, who remained unbeaten in the tournament.

Since earning their place back in Asia/Oceania Group I in 2016, India had remained in the regional group.

India’s non-playing captain Vishal Uppal was delighted with the result, saying, “It’s a historic moment and to be part of it feels surreal. I am proud of each and every member of our team — the players, physio, coach, manager. We all came together and worked towards a common goal.

“The key was to do the fundamentals well and keep it simple on court. As a team everyone stepped up one day or the other, which is very important. I hope this win will give a big boost to women’s tennis in India.”

Source: espn.com

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