Vastavam web: India’s aspirations of qualifying for the Fed Cup World Group were dashed after hosts Kazakhstan thrashed them 3-0 in a Pool A tie here Friday. Neither Ankita Raina nor Karman Kaur Thandi could win their singles rubbers losing to their respective opponents in straight sets and it will take some more time to realise their aspirations of making it among the elites. It was always an uphill task for the Indians to beat the higher-ranked home players but inspirational performance by Ankita against the same players last year had raised visions of an upset. Like Thursday, the team looked up to Ankita for an upset win against world number 43 Yulia Putintseva to stay alive but the home player quelled the late resistance from the Indian to prevail 6-1 7-6(4) in an hour and 57 minutes.
Playing at home last year, during her unbeaten singles campaign, Ankita had beaten Yulia and other higher-ranked players from China. However, an encore did not happen. “The scoreline looks deceptive. It was a tough fight and one or two points made the difference. The Kazakh girls knew how to step up at crucial points like at 5-all. Their unforced errors were minimum,” India coach Ankita Bhambri told.
“They hit the ball hard and made our girls play that one extra ball to induce errors and that made huge difference. They are not in top-100 for nothing. And it shows why there is difference in the rankings,” she added. “We were hoping that Ankita’s match will go into the third set. She did not give up until last point. Yulia’s court craft was very good,” Bhambri said. In the doubles rubber, Riya Bhatia and Prarthana Thombare were thrashed 6-1 6-1 by Anna Danilina and Galina Voskoboeva in 55 minutes.