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India win deciding doubles to prevail 2-1 against South Korea and register their second win of the Fed Cup

  • Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina win the decisive doubles match to seal India's 2-1 victory over South Korea in the Fed Cup.
Kartik Iyer
CONTRIBUTOR
News
Modified 06 Mar 2020, 07:36 IST

Sania Mirza won the decisive doubles encounter along with Ankita Raina
Sania Mirza won the decisive doubles encounter along with Ankita Raina

What's the story?

Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina won the deciding doubles encounter to help India register a 2-1 victory against South Korea in their third tie of the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania women's tennis tournament currently being held in Dubai. This was India's second consecutive victory at the tournament.

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 Davis Cup.

The Fed Cup is being held in a new format from this year, with the finals scheduled to take place in Budapest (Hungary) from 14th to 19th April 2020. Twelve teams would be contesting the finals this year - France, Australia, USA, Czech Republic, Russia, Belarus, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Slovakia and Switzerland.

India is participating in the Asia/Oceania Group I event being held in Dubai, which is part of the group events held across three regions - Americas, Asia/Oceania and Europe/Africa. Each tie in the group stage is contested in a best-of-three format, with all matches being played on a single day. The tie consists of two singles matches followed by a doubles match.

This was India's 3rd tie of the campaign after going down fighting 0-3 against China and prevailing 3-0 against Uzbekistan in their first two encounters.

Heart of the matter

The Indian women's tennis team registered their second consecutive win at the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group I women's tennis tournament being held in Dubai by securing a 2-1 win against South Korea.

In the first singles match, World No.433, Rutuja Bhosale, continued with her good form downing Jang Su-Jeong 7-5, 6-4 of South Korea to give India a 1-0 lead in the tie.

Rutuja started on an auspicious note by breaking serve in the very first game of the first set but she was broken back in the very next game. The Indian struck again in the 7th game by breaking her opponent's serve but just like the previous time she could not consolidate the break and was broken back immediately. The South Korean was broken again in the 11th game and this time Rutuja was not ready to let go of the opportunity, as she held serve to close out the set 7-5.

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The second set started on similar lines as the first with both players losing their first service games. But this time, the Indian jumped into an early lead by breaking serve in the 3rd game and held her serve to consolidate the break. Post that, the games went with serve till Rutuja was broken in the 8th game for parity to be restored at 4-4. Not to be denied, Rutuja broke Jang in the very next game and served out the set to emerge a 7-5, 6-4 victor.

India's highest-ranked singles player, Ankita Bhambri took to the court in the second singles but came up short against Han Na-Lae of South Korea losing the encounter 4-6, 0-6.

In the first set, both the players held their serves in the first two games and then traded breaks in the next two. Ankita was broken again in the seventh game, enabling Han to close out the set on her serve in the 10th game with the set score reading 6-4 in her favour.

Probably tired with the exertion over the last two days, Ankita could not put much of a fight in the second set and conceded the set 0-6 without winning a single game.

With the tie level at 1-1, it was now down to India's tennis ace Sania Mirza and Ankita to deliver the goods and they did not disappoint beating South Korea's Han Na-Lae and Kim Na Ri 6-4, 6-4 in the doubles encounter to close out the tie 2-1 in India's favour.

The Indians jumped to an early 3-0 lead in the first set breaking their opponents twice. Although they were broken in the fourth game, they did not allow the Koreans to get back into the set by breaking them right back. Even though they had a minor hiccup as they were broken in the 8th game while serving for the set, they retained their composure and served out the set 6-4 in the 10th game.

The second set also started on similar lines as the first set with the Indians breaking serve in the very first game. The Indians were broken back in the sixth game for parity to be restored at 3-3. The Sania-Ankita pair again came up with the goods in the crucial 9th game and broke their opponents' serve. They then went ahead and closed out the match 6-4, 6-4 by holding serve in the 10th game.

What's next?

India will be facing Chinese Taipei in their next tie on Friday. They would hope to recover quickly from this grueling encounter and continue with the winning momentum. With 2 teams set to be promoted from this group to the playoffs, their chances of cutting are still very much alive.


Published 06 Mar 2020, 07:36 IST
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