Billie Jean King Cup tennis: India lose 3-0 to China in second tie

The Indian women’s tennis team had lost to Japan in the opener.

By Aarish Ansari
Picture by 2017 Getty Images

The Indian women’s tennis team faced its second straight defeat at the Billie Jean King Cup 2022 Asia/Oceania Group I, going down 3-0 to China in Antalya, Turkey on Wednesday.

The Billie Jean King Cup, formerly known as the Fed Cup, is a world team championship for women’s tennis.

India began the tie at the MTA Tennis Academy’s clay courts with world No. 463 Riya Bhatia failing to put up a challenge against Lin Zhu, ranked 106 in the world, in the singles contest.

The 24-year-old Riya Bhatia made 10 double faults in two sets and converted just four out of her eight break points, losing the match 6-1, 6-3 in one hour 23 minutes.

Then, world No. 319 Ankita Raina, who is India’s top ranked women’s singles tennis player, took the court against 97th-ranked Qiang Wang.

Ankita Raina broke the Chinese opponent in the second game of the opening set but lost her serve in the very next game. The Indian was broken once more three games later and lost the first set 6-4.

The 29-year-old Ankita Raina was broken thrice in the second set as she went down 6-4, 6-2 in the one hour 28 minutes.

With the tie already lost, the third rubber was played by the doubles team of Sowjanya Bavisetti and Rutuja Bhosle against YiFan Xu and Zhaoxuan Yang. India’s star doubles player Sania Mirza had pulled out of the event.

Sowjanya-Rutuja went toe-to-toe in the opening set but could not keep up the momentum in the second, losing 7-5, 6-1 in one hour 22 minutes.

India’s loss to China sees them drop down to the last spot in the pool. India had lost to Japan by a similar 3-0 margin in their opening tie on Tuesday.

Japan, China and South Korea, all three unbeaten teams, occupy the top three places in the standings, while India, Indonesia and New Zealand are tied for the last spot.

Only the top two teams of Group I will be promoted to the play-offs while the fifth and sixth-placed teams will be relegated to next year’s Group II zone.

India will play Indonesia next on Thursday.

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