Host Kazakhstan got off to a positive start in its Fed Cup Asia-Oceania group-1 challenge, beating Thailand 3-0 without dropping a set in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday.
The Indian team, scheduled to play Thailand on Thursday, observed the opening contest between Kazakhstan and Thailand, held in indoor hard courts. “The first rubber was routine, but the second match got tricky,” observed Vishaal Uppal, the captain of the Indian team.
Read | Indians prepare in earnest
Zarina Diyas provided a winning start for Kazakhstan, defeating Mananchaya Sawangkaew 6-1, 6-2. In the other singles match, Yulia Putintseva defeated Nudnida Luangnam 6-2, 6-3. Kazakhstan made it 3-0 when the doubles team won its contest 6-3, 6-3.
Thailand may not have top-ranked players to boast, but India has to play strongly to beat the team. “Thailand is a tricky team. We are ready for them,” said Vishaal.
Thailand has to win against India, and that could bring out the best in the team. “The pressure will be on Thailand as they know that if they lose, they are out. That could make them more dangerous also. We have to focus on executing our plans and we will keep the pressure on our opponents,” Uppal stated.
Ankita Raina has been playing close to her best at the start of the season. She won a singles title in Singapore after her good showing at the Australian Open qualifying event, to reach a career-best rank of 165. Much can be expected from her and for the tall and wiry Karman Thandi, the platform will be a good one to showcase her big game. “Karman will have to bring her A-game this week. She has big weapons and she needs them to fire with consistency,” said Vishaal.
Overall, India has to keep its nose ahead of Thailand to set up a good contest against the host on Friday.
In the other group, China had to sweat more than expected against Pacific Oceania, even though it won 3-0. South Korea also won 3-0 on expected lines against Indonesia.
- Kazakhstan bt Thailand 3-0 (Zarina Diyas bt Mananchaya Sanwangkaew 6-1, 6-3; Yullia Putintseva bt Nudnida Luangnam 6-2, 6-3; Anna Danilina & Galina Voskoboeva bt Peangtarn Plipuech & Varunya Wongteanchai 6-3, 6-3).
- Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023 LIVE Score, Round 4: TN 162 all-out vs Baroda; Khajuria falls after ton as Mayank strikes twice; Mumbai closes in on win vs Pondicherry
- S.Korea suspend striker Hwang Ui-jo over sex video investigation
- Liverpool set to clinch place in Europa League knockouts
- Indian sports news wrap, November 28
- Australia forward Borrello ruled out of Asian Cup with broken foot