Indian Women Team Fail to Qualify for Billie Jean King Cup 2024 Playoff

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India’s women’s tennis team hopes to qualify for the playoffs at BJK have fizzled out.

The Indian women’s tennis team is in Asia/Oceania Group 1 following teams China, Korea, NewZealand, Chinese Taipei, and Pacific Oceania.
The five member womens Indian tennis team, was announced by the All India Tennis Association (AITA).
1. Ankita Raina no.1 Indian women’s singles tennis player WR 226.
2. Sahaja Yamalapalli WR 329.
3. Shrivalli Bhamidipaty WR 482.
4. Rutuja Bhosale (Asian games mixed doubles champion) WR 333.
5. Prarthana Thombare, India’s best ranked doubles tennis player WR 172.

Reserve player: Vaidehi Chaudhari WR 543.
Captain: Shalini Thakur Chawla WR 492.
Coach: Radhika Kanitkar.

Match no.1 Team India against Pacific Oceania on 9th April.

India won 3-0.

  • Rutuja easily won her first singles game against Pacific Oceania Tarani in straight sets6-0, 6-0; the game lasted only 42 minutes.
  • Next, Ankita Raina secured a solid win over the 19-year-old Saoirse Breen in straightsets 6-1, 6-3, which lasted for one hour and nine minutes.
  • In the Doubles fixture, Prarthana and Shrivalli also won in straight sets against MehetiaBoosie and Ruby Coffin of Pacific Oceania by 6-1, 6-3.
Courtesy Olympics
Match no. 2: Team India against China on 10th April.

India’s women’s tennis team, which secured a 3-0 victory against Pacific Oceania on Tuesday, suffered a defeat from team China with a score of 0-3 in the group stage on Wednesday in Changsha, China.

  • The first match was between Sahaja Yamalapalli, ranked 311, against the 43rd ranked Xinyu Wang. Sahaja was defeated in straight sets with a score of 2-6, 3-6, lasting 1 hour and 33 minutes.
  • Then in the second match which involved India’s top women’s tennis player, Ankita Raina with a WTA ranking of 255, competing against the 7th ranked player in the world Zheng. Ankita lost the match to Quinwen in straight sets with a score of 0-6,0-6, lasting less than half an hour – 3 minutes to be precise. Unfortunately, Ankita was unable to secure even a single game against the 7th ranked player in the world.Quinwen had reached the French Open Women’s Singles final last year but was defeated by Aryna Sabalenka.
  •  Then in the final match, the Indian doubles pair of Rutuja Bhosale & Prarthana GThombare also suffered a defeat in straight games against Hanyu Guo & Xiyu Wangwith a score of 1-6, 1-6 in a duration of 56 minutes.
Courtesy ITD

This outcome mirrors the 3-0 defeat India experienced against China in the Billie Jean Cup
2023 last year.

Consequently, the Indian team has been positioned in 4th place within their Asia/Oceania Group pool following this significant loss.

Match no. 3: Team India against Chinese Taipei on 11th April.

Following their defeat to China, Team India competed against Chinese Taipei in their next match on Thursday. Impressively, the team displayed a higher level of performance compared to their previous match against China and secured a victory with a score of 2-1.

  • In the first singles game Rutuja Bhosale played against Taipei’s Hao-Ching, with Rutuja winning convincingly in straight sets of 6-3 and 6-2, showcasing her tennis skills.
  •  Next match was between Ankita Raina and Taipei’s En Shuo Liang. Ankita easily won the first set 6-2 but unfortunately losing the following two sets with scores of 4-6 and 4-6. This brought the focus to the decisive match, crucial for India to stay in the runningfor playoff qualification.
  • In the deciding doubles match where the experienced duo of Prarthana G Thombare and Ankita Raina faced Taipei’s Hao-Ching Chang and En Shuo Liang. Despite losingthe first set 4-6, the duo emerge victorious in 2nd set with a score of 6-1. Their exceptional performance in the super tiebreaker lead them saving three match points and eventually win with a score of 15-13.
Courtesy ITD

This victory resulted in a 2-1 win over Chinese Taipei, significantly boosting their chances of advancing to the playoffs.

Match no. 4: Team India against Republic of Korea on 12th April.
  • Rutuja Bhosale secured a victory in the first game against Korea’s Sohyun Park, ranked WR 301, with a score of 6-2, 6-2 in straight sets within one hour and five minutes.
  • The second singles match featured Ankita Raina competing against Korea’s Sujeong Jang, ranked WR 241, where Raina faced defeat with a score of 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 30 minutes.
  •  The doubles fixture proved to be successful for Raina as she partnered with Prarthana Thombare to defeat Korea’s Dabin Kim & Sohyun Park with a score of 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 30 minutes.

Consequently, India emerged victorious with a 2-1 scoreline against the Republic of Korea, allowing India to surpass the Korean Republic and claim the second position.

Match no. 5: Team India against Newzealand on 13 th April.
  • Rutuja Bhosale’s outstanding performance helped the team secure a crucial victory in first singles game in straight sets against New Zealand’s Monique Berry WR 623 with a scoreline of 6-2 & 7-6.
  • But in second singles game unfortunately, Ankita Raina faced defeat against her higher-ranked opponent, WR 169 Lulu Sun, losing in straight sets 6-2, 6-0 in a match lasting 62 minutes. As a result, New Zealand levelled the tie at 1-1, leaving India with only the doubles match to try and secure a spot in the playoffs.
  • In the last and deciding doubles game despite a valiant effort, the duo of Ankita Raina and Prarthana Thombare faced defeat against New Zealand’s Erin Routeliffe & Paige Hourigan, losing the match in straight sets by 6-1, 7-5 after 1 hour and 27 minutes of play.

This loss marked India’s second defeat in the group stage, dashing their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs in the BJK Cup 2024.

Written By Chiya

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