Ankita Raina’s battle of valor again ended in agony as the Indian team defeated Asia / Oceania Group of Billy Jean Cup in the match played on Saturday in a defeat-winning play-off against world number 47 Anastasija Sevastova. Sent back to the world.
After her unprecedented duel against French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko on Friday, India’s number one again showed her stomach for the fight against the better players, but Sevastova took a 3–0 lead in the match.
With a rank of 174, Ankita lost the first reverse singles match 0-6 6-7 (5) to Sevastova, who outperformed Serena Williams in her team’s previous bout against the USA.
Since the tie was already scheduled, the second reverse singles were not played.
The doubles Indian team of debutant Zeal Desai and Rutuja Bhosle earned a consolation point by winning 6-4 5-7 10-2 against Patricija Spika and Daniela Wiseman as Latvia cut the qualifier with a 3–1 win.
India earned promotion to the play-offs for the first time in the history of the tournament.
Ankita said, “The first set from Anastasija. I knew I had to play a more solid role than yesterday. I could do that, in the second set, there were a few opportunities but I had to (more) close the set. Should have been aggressive, ”Ankita said.
“I analyzed after the match (against Jelena Ostapenko), it was a great match. Anastasija did not give up in the first set. I told myself in the second set that there is nothing to lose.”
“It was good to be able to play in the World Group play-offs. We couldn’t do it last year.”
After being bagged in the opening set, Ankita had two set points at 5-2 in the second set but failed to convert. After those opportunities were blown away, Sevastova was ruled out for four consecutive games to put India’s hopes at bay.
Ankita saved a match point to pull on the tie-breaker but Sevastova’s immense experience helped her seal the tie.
A forehand from Ankita, sailing the baseline at the breakpoint, gave Latvia the first break in the first match. Sevastova made it 2–0 to her name, though Ankita stepped up the game with her fierce return.
In the third game, Ankita again risked a backhand at game point, but found a crushed backhand winner down the line to be at the vantage point.
However, Cunning Sevastova ran Ankita from both sides and eventually reprimanded her.
A second double fault by Ankita on Deuce saw Sevastova get a second break for a 3–0 lead and got it when Ankita made a backhand error with a single back that did not cross the net.
The Indian player could not climb the board even after calling the shots to Sevastova. Although there was drama in the second set with Ankita, the home camp was shocked by extending its game by a few notches.
A backhand error from Latvia gave Ankita two breaks in the second game and gave the Indian a 2–0 lead in the second set.
Ankita lovingly completed the next game to make it 3–0. However, the pillow was lost when Ankita gave up his serve in the fifth game, which led to unexpected errors.
A series of unexpected errors from the home player meant that the Indian got another break in the sixth game, when Sevatova buried her backhand to give Ankita a 4–2 lead, which was 5–5 with a dependable catch. From 2 became a beautiful.
Ankita had a chance to close the set in his favor in the next game and force a decoder but Sevastova did well to save both.
From there, it was Sevastova who controlled the game, though Ankita saved a few match points.