Sania, Ankita, Karman named in Indian Billie Jean King Cup team

India will compete with China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea Republic and New Zealand in round-robin format, where the top two nations will get a chance to compete in the play-offs.

Veteran Sania Mirza and singles players Ankita Raina were among the five members of India's Billie Jean King Cup team.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Riya Bhatia, the country’s third best ranked singles player, got back into the Billie Jean King Cup team that was announced by the All IndiaTennis Association (AITA) here on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old Riya is ranked 460, behind Ankita Raina (339) and Karman Thandi (424). The selection committee with Nandan Bal as the Chairman also retained the fourth best player Rutuja Bhosale, ranked 509.

Sania Mirza lends considerable strength to the team with her doubles prowess, apart from her inspiring presence. The team will have Vishaal Uppal as the captain and Shalini Thakur as the coach.

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The Billie Jean King Cup Asia Oceania group-1 competition is scheduled to be played in Antalya, Turkey, from April 11.

China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and New Zealand will be the other teams in the group. The top two will qualify for the World group play-off, while the last two teams will be relegated to group-2 in the region.

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India had qualified for the play-off for the first time in history and had lost 1-3 to Latvia with Zeel Desai and Rutuja winning the doubles rubber after the host had sealed the tie, winning the first three singles matches through Jelena Ostapenko and Anastasija Sevastova.

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