India has suffered its first loss in the singles on the opening day of the Fed Cup competition holding in Dubai on Tuesday.
For India to get back into the mix, Ankita Raina will have to get past world number 29 Qiang Wang in the next game.
In the opening game, Rutuja Bhosale gave her all by fighting her heart against world number 35 Shuai Zhang.
Although the 23-year-old Pune-based player was leading 3-1 with an early break of serve, Shuai showed her why she is a top-50 player to come back and win the match 6-4 6-2 in an hour and 16 minutes.
Recall that Shuai reached the third round of the recently held Australian Open before losing to eventual champion Sofia Kenin. The Chinese broke Rutuja early in the second set to race clear with a 3-1 lead, and she kept the momentum.
Despite being 433 in the ATP ranking, Rutuja didn’t lose the game without a fight by giving her all in the contest. According to reports, she was preferred by captain Vishal Uppal ahead of higher-ranked Riya Bhatia (388). Bhatia is yet to play a singles match in Fed Cup. She might get into action in the next game.
In her last encounter with China, which was a double match in 2017, she was on the losing side. Same with the game against Kazakhstan in 2019.
All India can bank on now is the contest between India’s number one Ankita Raina against world number 29 Qiang Wang.
Wang was the one that sent former Grand slam champion, Serena Williams, parking in the third round of the Australian Open.
The top two teams in the six-nation Asia/Oceania Group will get the Play-offs tickets which will hold next month.
India could also bank on the experience of Sania Mirza, who could inspire the young players to greatness against the top Chinese players.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed