Sania Mirza has already shown her magic last year and Ankita Raina is playing very well at the moment: new India coach Radhika Tulpule-Kanitkar

Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina
Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina
Haresh Ramchandani

India's newly appointed Billie Jean King Cup coach Radhika Tulpule-Kanitkar recently revealed that India stands a good chance against Latvia in next month's away tie. India have the in-form Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina in their squad.

Earlier this week, the All India Tennis Association named Sania Mirza, Ankita Raina, Rutuja Bhosale, Karman Kaur Thandi, Zeel Desai, and Riya Bhatia (reserve player) in the squad.

The tie is scheduled to take place on an indoor hardcourt on April 16-17 in Jurmala, Latvia, with former India Davis Cup player Vishal Uppal being the non-playing captain. Tulpule-Kanitkar is a former national champion herself and has also represented India in the team event.

In a recent interview with the Olympic Channel, Tulpule-Kanitkar revealed that with Mirza's gutsy performance at the event last year and Ankita Raina's good run of form in recent months, India have a good shot against the Latvians.

“I think we have a strong team and a very real chance against Latvia,” she said. “Sania has already shown her magic in Dubai (Fed Cup, 2020). Ankita is playing very well at the moment."

Latvia's team includes two top 60 players in singles - former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and former World No. 11 Anastasija Sevastova.

That said, Tulpule-Kanitkar went on to add that she believes every player in the current squad can contribute rather than relying on the top players.

"Earlier, we used to rely on our No. 1 player to take us through. But, I think, in this team, every member can contribute in singles as well as doubles.”

India qualified for the Playoffs for the first time in its history after beating Indonesia in the Asia-Oceania Group I event in Dubai last year.

Representing India continues to remain a top priority for Sania Mirza

Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

While Sania Mirza has played only a limited number of events since her comeback to the circuit in January 2020, she played a critical role in India's campaign in the Billie Jean King Cup last year.

Mirza has been at the forefront of India's campaign at international events for many years now.

In a recent interview with News18, Sania Mirza confirmed that playing in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics remains one of her biggest priorities.

"Competing at the Olympics for the fourth consecutive time is definitely a priority. Besides doing well in the Grand Slams, I would also like to improve my ranking quickly to be able to enter the major tournaments without my protected ranking,” said Mirza.

Edited by Rohit Mishra


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