India overcome Uzbekistan 3-0 to register maiden win of the Fed Cup campaign
- India outplayed Uzbekistan 3-0 in their second tie of the Fed Cup to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.
What's the story?
The Indian women's tennis team defeated Uzbekistan 3-0 to register their first win in the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania women's tennis tournament currently being held in Dubai.
In case you didn't know
The Fed Cup is the premier team competition in women's tennis. It is the female equivalent of the the Davis Cup.
The Fed Cup is being held in a new format from this year, with Budapest (Hungary) scheduled to host the finals from 14th to 19th April 2020. France, Australia, USA, Czech Republic, Russia, Belarus, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Slovakia and Switzerland are the 12 teams that would be contesting the finals this year.
India are participating in the Asia/Oceania Group I event being held in Dubai with 5 other nations - China, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Korea Republic and Uzbekistan. The ties are being played on a round-robin basis.
This was India's second tie of the campaign after going down fighting 0-3 against China in their first encounter.
Heart of the matter
The Indian women's tennis team made a brilliant comeback after their 0-3 loss against China to outplay Uzbekistan and register their first win of the Fed Cup campaign. India won both the singles matches as well as the doubles encounter to win the tie by the same 3-0 margin.
In the first singles match, World No.433 Rutuja Bhosale defeated the experienced Akgul Amanmuradova 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 to give India a good start.
After losing the first set tamely with a 6-2 scoreline, Rutuja bounced back to outplay her opponent and win the second set with the same 6-2 margin. The third set was a close-fought affair with the Indian finally prevailing 7-5 to give India a 1-0 lead in the tie.
In the second singles match, World No.160 Ankita Raina defeated Sabina Sharipova 7-5, 6-1 to give India an unassailable 2-0 lead in the tie.
The first set was a neck and neck affair with both players trying to gain the initial advantage. Ankita did not start well as she was broken in the very first game but she restored parity by breaking her opponent in the very next game.
But the Indian was broken again in the 5th game to concede the advantage. Both players held serve from then on, till the Uzbek was broken in the 10th game while serving to close the set. With her confidence up, Ankita then won the next 2 games to close out the set 7-5 to take a one set lead.
With the momemtum on her side, Ankita was totally dominant in the 2nd set as she rushed to a 4-0 lead within no time. Although Sabina broke Ankita in the 5th game, there was no stopping the Indian as she won the next two games to close the set 6-1 and with it the match.
With the tie already sealed, India again decided to rest Ankita and Sania Mirza in the inconsequential doubles encounter. The young Sowjanya Bavisetti and Riya Bhatia represented India and came up with a spirited display to beat the Uzbek pair of Yasmina Karimjanova and Setora Normurodova 6-3, 6-1 to complete the 3-0 whitewash for India in the tie.
India will be up against Korea in their next tie on Thursday. They would be high on confidence after this convincing win and would hope to continue the winning momentum. With 2 teams set to be promoted from this group to the playoffs, their chances of making the cut are still very much alive.Published 05 Mar 2020, 07:47 IST