Fed Cup: Ankita tames Putintseva to keep hopes alive

Updated: Feb 09, 2018, 10:48 IST | PTI

Big-hearted Ankita Raina showed nerves of steel as she yet again rose to the occasion for India by taming experienced Yulina Putintseva in a thrilling contest to level the Fed Cup tie against Kazakhstan 1-1 here yesterday

Ankita Raina
Ankita Raina

Big-hearted Ankita Raina showed nerves of steel as she yet again rose to the occasion for India by taming experienced Yulina Putintseva in a thrilling contest to level the Fed Cup tie against Kazakhstan 1-1 here yesterday. Ankita not only fought off a grinder but also shrugged off some poor umpiring to emerge a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 winner after battling hard for two hours and 25 minutes against a player, who was ranked as high as 27 last year and had beaten Top-10 players.

Before Ankita's inspiring win, Karman Kaur Thandi gave ample display of her talent but lacked consistency as she lost the opening singles of the Asia/Oceania Group I tie to World No. 55 Zarina Diyas. Ankita, who had beaten Lin Zhu on Wednesday, responded to the call from her team with an inspirational performance against the World No. 81 Kazakh.

Yulina Putintseva
Yulina Putintseva

Putintseva, who beat players like Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dominika Cibulkova en route the final of St Petersburg WTA event last year, found the going tough against Ankita, who yet again stood out with her relentless returns.

It was a dogfight from the baseline as Putintseva, a grinder from across the court, was picking everything and hitting it back. Ankita too put the balls back, which meant points were long and hard-fought. Ankita will now combine with Prarthana Thombare to take on Gozal Ainitdinova and Zhibek Kulambayeva in the decisive doubles.

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