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Billie Jean King Cup: India finishes third, stays in Asia-Oceania Group I

Riya Bhatia and Ankita Raina won their singles matches to help India beat Korea 2-1 and finish third in the Asia-Oceania Billie Jean King Cup women’s tennis tournament in Antalya, Turkey.

For all her rich experience on clay courts, especially in Europe, Riya was able to assert herself in the first singles, albeit in a three-setter against Na Ri Kim. Riya won 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Ankita ensured India’s third victory in the round-robin league, with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Kim Dabin.

India had beaten Indonesia and New Zealand earlier, and thus finished third in the group. It had lost only to the two qualifying teams from the zone, Japan which finished with an all-win record, and China.

Captain Vishaal Uppal was particularly pleased with the win over Korea, which put India close to the top two teams.

‘’We played both the top teams Japan and China on the first two days. After that, securing our place in group-1 was important. Defeating Korea was a big morale booster. I am happy with the effort of the whole team. Unfortunately, Sania Mirza could not join the team owing to an injury. We managed with the available resources and did well. Lot of learnings from this event, and we need to start building and preparing for next year from now itself’’, said Vishaal.

Indonesia and New Zealand were relegated to group-2 as they finished at the bottom of the six-team pool.

The results (league):

India bt Korea 2-1 (Riya Bhatia bt Na Ri Kim 6-3,2 -6, 6-3; Ankita Raina bt Kim Dabin 6-2, 6-3; Sowjanya Bavisetti & Riya Bhatia lost to Na-Lae Kim & Na Ri Kim 1-6, 3-6).

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