Fed Cup: Sania, Ankita shine as India makes World Group play-offs

Sania and Ankita won the decisive doubles as India beat Indonesia 2-1 to enter the World Group play-off in the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania group-1 women’s tennis tournament.

Historic: A jubilant Indian team after its win against Indonesia.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina won the decisive doubles as India beat Indonesia 2-1 to enter the World Group play-off in the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania group-1 women’s tennis tournament in Dubai on Saturday.

It was the fourth win for India, after the tough start against China which qualified as the No.1 team, winning all its league matches in the six-team competition.

It was a heady climax after the power and craft of Sania and Ankita swung the contest in favour of India 7-6(4), 6-0 against Priska Madelyn Nugroho and Aldila Sutjiadi.

Sania played pulled her weight when required to help the team progress to the play-off for the first time in the history of Indian women’s tennis. Ankita had earlier risen to the occasion to keep Indian hopes alive by beating Aldila Sutjiadi 6-3, 6-3 to put India on par with Indonesia at 1-1.

Rutuja Bhosale went down in three sets to 16-year-old Priska Madelyn Nugroho. Sowjanya Bavisetti and Riya Bhatia had also played their part in ensuring a 3-0 win over Uzbekistan.

Earlier, in the fourth league match on Friday, Ankita had lost the second singles to En Shuo Liang but partnered Sania Mirza to clinch the decisive doubles in a long-drawn marathon 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 against the Taipei pair of Latisha Chan, who herself was a former world No.1 doubles player like Sania, and En Shuo Liang.

The results (league): India bt Indonesia 2-1 (Rutuja Bhosale lost to Priska Madelyn Nugroho 3-6, 6-0, 3-6; Ankita Raina bt Aldila Sutjiadi 6-3, 6-3; Sania Mirza & Ankita Raina bt Priska Madelyn Nugroho & Aldila Sutjiadi 7-6(4), 6-0).

India bt Chinese Taipei 2-1 (Rutuja Bhosale bt Ya Yi Yang 6-3, 3-6, 7-6[6]); Ankita Raina lost to En Shuo Liang 6-3, 2-6, 3-6; Sania Mirza & Ankita Raina bt Latisha Chan & En Shuo Liang 6-4, 4-6, 6-4).

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