New Delhi: Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi won their singles matches to help India retain their place in Fed Cup’s Asia/Oceania Group I with a 2-0 win over Chinese Taipei in the relegation play-off here on Saturday.
Karman beat Lee Pei-Chi 7-6(4), 6-3 to put India ahead 1-0. Ankita then overcame Chieh-Yu Hsu 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in two hour and 54 minutes to keep the hosts in the group. Japan qualified for the World Group play-off, beating Kazakhstan 2-1.
Ankita remained unbeaten in her singles matches in the India leg of the tournament, winning all her four matches.
She hit a lot of angled balls to her left-handed opponents’ backhand, a strategy that paid her good dividends. Ankita took some time to settle down, fending off four breakpoints in the opening game. She broke Hsu in the fourth and eighth games to take the first set.
The battle intensified in the second set. Hsu broke Ankita in the fifth and then saved three breakpoints in the next game. Ankita broke back two times but lost serve in the 11th game, allowing the Taipei player to served out the set in the 12th.
Hsu took a medical timeout to treat her left shoulder immediately after drawing parity. It broke her momentum helping Ankita to win.