Fed Cup: Conditions no damper for upbeat India

It has been snowing in Kazakhstan, and the weather forecast has been for a further spell of severe cold and the Indian team has been acclimatising to the indoor playing conditions and the hard living conditions.

The Indian Fed Cup team, with Ankita Raina (in pic), Karman Kaur Thandi, Prarthana Thombare, Mahak Jain and Riya Bhatia with Ankita Bhambri as the coach, along with trainer Anand Dubey will be keen to capitalise on the time on hand for the best possible preparation.   -  Vivek Bendre

The task is hard and the conditions are intimidating, but the Indian Fed Cup team is preparing in right earnest in Astana, Kazakhstan, for the Asia Oceania group-1 women’s tennis event.

"We have been training hard. The girls are getting used to the conditions and feeling sharper with each day’’, said the captain of the team, Vishaal Uppal. 

It has been snowing in Kazakhstan, and the weather forecast has been for a further spell of severe cold.

"For the next two days, the weather is going to be brutal. But, mostly we are indoors. So it is not that bad’’, the captain said.

Having reached on Friday, the team has been acclimatising to the indoor playing conditions and the hard living conditions. "The hosts have treated us well. We have two more days of practice left and we will be ready come Thursday’’, Vishaal said.

The Indian team, with Ankita Raina, Karman Kaur Thandi, Prarthana Thombare, Mahak Jain and Riya Bhatia with Ankita Bhambri as the coach, along with trainer Anand Dubey will be keen to capitalise on the time on hand for the best possible preparation.

India has been clubbed with Thailand and host Kazakhstan, in a three-team group.

The other group will have China, Korea, Indonesia and Pacific Oceania. The group toppers, after the league phase, will face each other for a qualification berth to the World group-2 play off. The two teams among the seven that finish at the bottom will be relegated to group-2.

"I am happy with the preparation and team spirit so far’’, said Vishaal, quite optimistic about the team’s chances of performing at its best.