Sania Mirza stepped on court to help India beat Korea 2-1 in the third league match of the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania group-1 women’s tennis tournament in Dubai on Thursday.
It was the second victory for India, after the loss against top seed China in the first tie. India had beaten Uzbekistan 3-0 on the second day.

India will play Chinese Taipei in the fourth league match on Friday, and Indonesia thereafter on the last day. The top two teams from the six-team league will qualify for the next stage.

Fed Cup: Rutuja registers win against Korea, Ankita loses

Former World No.1 doubles star and six-time Grand Slam champion, Sania had to pull her weight in combination with Ankita Raina, after the latter lost the second singles rather tamely.

As usual, Rutuja Bhosale had given a good start for India, as she battled past Jang Su-Jeong 7-5, 6-4 in the first rubber.

Ankita was unusually subdued, and could muster only four games in the second rubber against Han Na-Lae.

With tougher matches ahead, it was a good opportunity for the Indian team to put Sania on court for the doubles rubber, for the first time in the current edition. Incidentally, Sania, who made her Fed Cup debut in 2003, had last played the team competition in 2016.

She has a 13-5 win-loss record in singles, and has improved her doubles record to 12-5.

The team avoided fielding Sania in the first two matches, as top seed China beat India 3-0, and India had taken a 2-0 lead over Uzbekistan in the second match. In fact, Sowjanya Bavisetti and Riya Bhatia combined well to help India to a 3-0 win over Uzbekistan.

In other matches, China continued its domination and beat Chinese Taipei while Indonesia sustained its favourable run and beat Uzbekistan.