New Delhi: Ankita Raina defeated world number 120 Zhu Lin but India lost the Fed Cup tie to China 1-2 on the opening day of the Asia/Oceania Group I competition here.
Ankita, ranked 253, caught Zhu by surprise with her aggressive shot making to win 6-3, 6-2 the RK Khanna Tennis stadium’s centre court.
India’s day began with Karman Kaur Thandi losing 2-6, 2-6 to world number 125 Wang Yafan. Ankita then made it 1-1 for her first win over Zhu in four matches.
Ankita also played in the decisive doubles with Prarthana Thombare, but the Indian pair went down to Wang and Yang Zhaoxuan, world no. 31 in doubles, 2-6, 6-7 (1).
The Indian pair was not sharp enough, lacked coordination and missed several chances. India next play Kazakhstan, who blanked Hong Kong 3-0, in a must-win tie on Thursday. The winners of the two pools will meet to qualify for the World Group Play-off.
Ankita kept up the pressure on Zhu throughout the match. She kept the ball in play as Zhu struggled to cope with the Indian’s consistent returns.
Earlier, in the first match, the gulf between Karman and Wang was evident. The Chinese struck the ball with authority while Karman’s play was littered with errors.