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Fed Cup 2018: Ankita Raina confident of good show in Pro circuit after stellar performance

Ankita Raina won against higher-ranked players Yuliya Putintseva and Lin Zhu in the Fed Cup 2018 tournament but India still lost games against Kazakhstan and China.

tennis Updated: Feb 10, 2018 18:53 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
PTI, New Delhi
Fed Cup 2018,Tennis,Ankita Raina
Ankita Raina was the stand-out performer in the Fed Cup 2018 tournament as India managed to remain in Asia/Oceania Group 1.(Getty Images for LTA)

After taming higher-ranked players in her unbeaten singles run in the Fed Cup, Ankita Raina is confident that she will return to the Pro circuit much richer, in terms of experience.

Having played and won against players such as Yuliya Putintseva, who is ranked 81 but was 27 last year, and China’s world number 120 Lin Zhu, the 25-year-old was a picture of confidence.

“I played some good matches, it adds to my experience. All the matches were challenging in a different way. The biggest challenge was to recover for doubles after playing singles and then again remain ready for the next singles,” Ankita, who beat Chieh-Yu Hsu to help India remain in Group I said.

Ankita said small things made a huge difference to her results as there was a trainer to help her recover fast and she did not need to worry about arranging food and courts for practice.

Talking about her today’s marathon match, which lasted almost three hours, Ankita said she was glad that she could pull it off.

“The court was slower and it worked to her advantage. It was tough. The level of players were completely different in first two days and today she was completely different. Both of us kept changing the tactics. I had to grind it out. In third set, I understood that there was no point rallying, so I went for my shots,” she said.

“I also came to the net, which I usually don’t do,” said Ankita, who will return to the Pro circuit from next month.

Ankita was also all praise for her younger colleague Karman Kaur Thandi, who gave India a 1-0 lead by winning her singles today.

“Karman showed some nerves in first tie-breaker. She did a good job. It was important that she won,” she said. India captain Ankita Bhambri was “relieved” that the match ended in two singles.

“I was very anxious. The Chinese Taipei players are solid in doubles. I am relieved,” said Bhambri, who guided the senior Fed Cup team for the first time.

Bhambri was quite candid and honest in admitting that sometimes players may find it difficult to accept inputs from someone who is not training them on regular basis.

“They can find the tips and tactics not helpful but eventually we pulled it off. It was a team work.”

First Published: Feb 10, 2018 18:52 IST