Billie Jean King Cup: Ankita Raina’s defeat sends India back to regional competition


Ankita Raina’s gallant struggle resulted in agony but once more as her defeat towards world quantity 47 Anastasija Sevastova within the must-win Play-offs match on Saturday despatched the Indian group back to the Asia/Oceania Group of the Billie Jean King Cup.

After her phenomenal struggle towards 2017 French Open champions Jelena Ostapenko on Friday, the India primary once more confirmed abdomen for struggle towards superior gamers however Sevastova sealed the match to give her facet an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Ranked 174, Ankita misplaced the primary reverse singles match 0-6 6-7(5) to Sevastova, who had obtained the higher of legendary Serena Williams in her group’s earlier tie towards the USA.

India had earned promotion to the Play-offs for the primary time within the historical past of the match.

After being bageled within the opening set, Ankita had two set factors at 5-2 within the second set however failed to convert. After these possibilities have been blown away, Sevastova reeled off 4 video games in a row to puncture India’s hopes.

Ankita saved a match level to drag it to the tie-breaker however Sevastova’s immense expertise helped her seal the tie.

A forehand from Ankita, crusing over the baseline on the breakpoint, gave the Latvian the primary break of the match within the very first sport. Sevastova made it 2-0 although Ankita stretched the sport along with her fierce returns.

In the third sport, Ankita netted a backhand on the sport level to be in peril once more however discovered a crushing backhand winner down the road to be on benefit level.

However, the artful Sevastova had Ankita working on each the flanks and finally made it deuce.

A second double fault from Ankita at deuce gave Sevastova an opportunity to get the second break for a 3-0 lead and he or she obtained it when Ankita made a backhand error with a feeble single-hand return that didn’t cross the online.

The Indian couldn’t get on even board with Sevastova calling the pictures. However, there was drama within the second set with Ankita but once more stunning the house camp by rising her sport by just a few notches.

A backhand error from the Latvian gave Ankita two breakpoints within the second sport and one other one gave the Indian a 2-0 lead within the second set.

Ankita made it 3-0 by serving the subsequent sport at love. However the cushion was misplaced when Ankita dropped her serve within the fifth sport, thanks to unforced errors.

A collection of unforced errors from the house participant meant that the Indian obtained one other break within the sixth sport when Sevatova buried her backhand on the web to give Ankita a 4-2 lead, which grew to become a good-looking 5-2 with a assured maintain.

Ankita had an opportunity to shut the set in her favour within the subsequent sport and power a decider however Sevastova served nicely to save each.

From there on, it was Sevastova who managed the sport, although Ankita saved a few match factors.


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