Dubai, March 8: The Indian Fed cup team on Saturday (March 7) created history by earning a promotion to the Play-offs for the first time ever with Ankita Raina leading the side to 2-1 win over Indonesia in Dubai.
Ankita Raina pulled off a crucial singles win against talented Aldila Sutjiadi to lock the tie 1-1 after Rutuja Bhosale suffered a crushing defeat against an unranked Priska Madelyn Nugroho.
Up against the 16-year-old Indonesian, who is ranked 15th on the ITF junior circuit, Rutuja lost 3-6 6-0 3-6 in one hour and 43 minutes in the opening singles. Ankita, who lost her previous two singles, demolished the challenge of talented Aldila Sutjiadi 6-3 6-3 in the second rubber.
#FedCup by BNP Paribas Play-offs draw:— Fed Cup (@FedCup) March 7, 2020
🇵🇱 Poland 🆚 Brazil 🇧🇷
🇲🇽 Mexico 🆚 Great Britain 🇬🇧
🇷🇸 Serbia 🆚 Canada 🇨🇦
🇱🇻 Latvia 🆚 India 🇮🇳
🇯🇵 Japan 🆚 Ukraine 🇺🇦
🇷🇴 Romania 🆚 Italy 🇮🇹
🇦🇷 Argentina 🆚 Kazakhstan 🇰🇿
🇳🇱 Netherlands 🆚 China 🇨🇳
Ties to be played 17-18 April 2020
She then combined with seasoned Sania Mirza to beat Sutziyadi and Nugroho 7-6(4) 6-0 to seal India's place in the Play-offs where they will take on Latvia in April.
They overcame a sluggish start as they were trailing 1-4 but regrouped to dominate the decisive set.
India finished second in the six-team Group with four wins in a row after losing the opening tie to China, who remained unbeaten in the tournament.
Since earning their place back in Asia/Oceania Group I in 2016, India remained in the regional group.
With the rise of Ankita Raina, things began to improve.
Rituja Bhosale also played a key role in India's team as she provided winning starts in a few ties, sharing the burden with Ankita.
Sania Mizra's return to Fed Cup after four years also helped the team as her inspirational presence and guidance helped the side immensely.