Indian girls train in strength for Fed Cup

Both Ankita Raina and Prarthana Thombare had competed in the $250,000 WTA tournament in Chinese Taipei.

Ankita Raina and Rutuja Bhosale training at the RK Khanna Stadium in Delhi, in preparation for the Fed Cup.   -  Special Arrangement

The Indian girls, who assembled in strength with Ankita Raina and Prarthana Thombare, liked the centre court at the R.K. Khanna Stadium, as they went through two sessions of training on Saturday in preparation for the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania group-1 tennis tournament to be played next week.

"It is the best Delhi weather we can hope to have at this time. The girls are getting used to the courts and they like it," said captain Ankita Bhambri, after the evening session.

Both Ankita Raina and Prarthana Thombare had competed in the $250,000 WTA tournament in Chinese Taipei. Ankita had lost in the second round of the qualifying event of singles, while Prarthana bowed out in the first round of doubles.

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"It is good to play some matches. Karman is coming from London tomorrow. The others are already here. It will be good to have a few days of training to get used to the conditions before the tie’’, said Bhambri.

While Ankita Raina, Pranjala Yadlapalli, Prarthana Thombare and Rutuja Bhosale had their training for about two hours in the evening, Zeel Desai was expected to join training on Sunday. Rutuja and Zeel are the reserve players for the tie.

"All the teams are tough. This is Fed Cup and we can’t be looking at the rankings of players. We have to take one match at a time and try to do our best," said the Indian captain.

India has been clubbed with Kazakhstan, China and Hong Kong. The other group has Chinese Taipei, Japan, Thailand and Korea.

The Kazakh team had also arrived while Hong Kong has been practising at the venue for two days. The rest of the teams are scheduled to assemble over the next two days for the tie scheduled from February 7 to 10.

The champion team from the group will qualify for World Group-2 play-off.