'Sania's presence will boost India's chances'
Ankita Bhambri says she will take the disappointment in her stride if she is deprived of singles play due to Sania's presence in the Indian Fed Cup team.india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 15:41 IST
Ankita Bhambri says she will take the disappointment in her stride if she is deprived of singles play due to the presence of Sania Mirza in the Indian team for the Fed Cup women's team tennis competition in Seoul, Korea, next week.
"I have been lucky to play singles matches in the past. If I get a chance to play this time, it's okay. Even if I do not get, then also no problem," the 19-year old Delhi girl said.
Ankita played a key role in India finishing second in the last year's Asia-Oceania Zone Group 1 qualifiers at Delhi.
Sania, who was riding a wave of success following her Australian Open exploits, remained on the bench due to an ankle injury.
This time, however, Sania will be carrying the leadership mantle with a world ranking of 37.
US-based Indian Shikha Uberoi, ranked 180, will be the number two player at the event from April 19 to 22.
That would leave Anika and Isha Lakhani, the fourth member of the team, as third choice singles players for coach and captain Enrico Piperno.
"We are a strong team comprising Sania, Shikha, Isha and myself, and I hope we would do well," she said.
The players would arrive in Delhi on Sunday and leave for Korea the same day.
Ankita said given the round-the-year participation on the pro circuit, the girls could do away with a training camp.
"It is not going to have any impact. All of us are playing round the year. So we are in the groove to meet the challenge at the Fed Cup.
"Besides, we will train together as a team after we meet on Sunday," the 337-ranked player said.
India are in Group I which includes hosts Korea, Australia, Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, Philippines and Uzbekistan.
The winner of the group will be promoted to World Group II next year.