Billie Jean King Cup: Ankita Raina, India go down preventing to Latvia in playoff tie

Billie Jean King Cup: Ankita Raina, India go down preventing to Latvia in playoff tie

Latvia beat India 3-1 within the Billie Jean King Cup playoff with Ankita Raina as soon as once more highlighting her preventing spirit regardless of two defeats.

Billie Jean King Cup: Ankita Raina, India go down fighting to Latvia in playoff tie

Ankita Raina produced a spirited show in opposition to Anastasija Sevastova but it surely wasn’t sufficient for a win. Picture: Latvian Tennis Union / Raimonds Volonts

One other shaky begin, one other pissed off opponent, one other shut end. That sums up Ankita Raina’s weekend in Jurmala, Latvia. She had aggravated and rattled Jelena Ostapenko on the opening day of the Billie Jean King Cup playoff and within the reverse singles, she did the identical to Anastasija Sevastova.

In each contests, Raina began poorly, her serve fully evading her and produced errors aplenty, shedding 2-6 and 0-6. If Ostapenko wanted to tug off two exceptional backhand winners to fend off Raina within the closing phases, Sevastova banked on her forehand and two well timed aces. What was frequent, nonetheless, to the push was Raina extending the size of the rallies and forcing the upper ranked Latvians into making errors.

An instance of it arrived within the eighth sport of the second set between Raina and Sevastova. A prolonged trade from the baseline was adopted by slices, drop pictures, lobs earlier than the eventual backhand winner down the road from the strings of the Indian’s racket. She didn’t even have a good time – for lack of power and since the job remained incomplete.

In that sport, Raina had two set factors to drive a decider. An enormous turnaround from being bageled within the first set and looking out removed from convincing. However simply as Ostapenko a day prior, World No 47 Sevastova raised her errant sport simply in time to lengthen the set. She would go on to carry and get the break again.

Sevastova would make it 4 video games in a row with consecutive breaks just for Raina to dig in and convert a 3rd break level whereas saving a match level of her personal. Within the tiebreak, the 2018 US Open semi-finalist by no means regarded uncontrolled to seal the match.

With the 6-0, 7-6 triumph, Latvia took an unassailable 3-0 lead within the tie however India later obtained a comfort win within the doubles that includes Zeel Desai and Rutuja Bhosale. Sania Mirza, who was initially pencilled in to play the doubles, remained on the sidelines for the lifeless rubber giving the kids some much-needed expertise.

The onus of pulling off an upset fell considerably on Raina, the 2018 Asian Video games bronze medallist who not too long ago gained her maiden WTA doubles title. In Latvia, when she struggled, she discovered it arduous to get the balls again and the serve was there for the taking.

However when she discovered her rhythm, she hurried her opponents and moved them to the corners. The technique remained to remain within the level, lengthen the rallies and watch for an error in opposition to gamers who prefer to assault. However in such moments, what went lacking, and proved to be the decisive issue between a win and a loss, was the absence of a stage head in key conditions, massive pictures for fast factors and in not being aggressive sufficient.

Ostapenko stated, “It was powerful to play. She performs a distinct sport. She was making fairly a number of unusual pictures.”

The 28-year-old from Ahmedabad did what she does greatest and most successfully: battle. She ran down the balls, stored rallies alive and waited. Waited for an error. Like she had in opposition to Ostapenko who buckled when issues did not go to plan. Sevastova, regardless of the 6-0 begin, struggled to get her rhythm within the second set and trailed for essentially the most half. Raina, when it was time to twist the knife, wasn’t aggressive sufficient, one thing she admitted within the press convention later.

“She gave me a variety of factors within the first set. Within the second, misplaced my backhand a little bit bit. When she begins main, it pushes her up. She has nothing to lose and begins taking part in higher. We noticed that yesterday. I knew I had to stick with her within the rallies,”Sevastova stated

India’s non-playing captain and former Davis Cupper Vishal Uppal stated creating weapons would assist Raina shut out such conditions sooner or later.

“Each Ostapenko and Sevastova confirmed why they’re within the top-50. As a result of at 4-4 or 5-5, they simply occur to seek out that additional gear. Ankita, for her half, stayed fairly stable by way of that. However it’s simply the standard of the Latvian ladies that they have been capable of increase their stage on the essential factors, and that made the distinction,” stated Uppal.

“She (Raina) has to maintain enhancing and including issues to her sport. Taking part in extra aggressive is one, if her web sport improves then it’ll give her the arrogance to come back up and end factors shortly, that’ll be good. It’s necessary for her to remain centered and when she has somebody underneath strain, to maintain that strain and never let it get away. She’s a diligent employee, but when she provides a number of tactical strikes to her sport, possibly she will break into the highest 100.”

India return to the Asia/Oceania group stage subsequent yr after a maiden foray into the World Group playoffs. Latvia, in the meantime, who got here agonisingly near beating america final yr, return to the 2022 Qualifiers.

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