New Delhi: Ankita Raina showed nerves of steel in an inspirational win over a seasoned Yulia Putintseva but her effort proved insufficient again as India lost the Fed Cup tie 1-2 to Kazakhstan after losing the decisive doubles in New Delhi on Thursday.
Ankita also shrugged off poor umpiring to emerge a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 winner in 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 win, Karman Kaur Thandi gave ample display of her talent but lacked consistency and lost the opening singles of the Asia/Oceania Group I tie to World No 55 Zarina Diyas.
However, the doubles proved to be a weak link again as Anita and Prarthana Thombare were demolished 0-6, 4-6 by Diyas and Putintseva. Prarthana has been focusing on doubles for some time now but she failed to anchor India in the decisive match for the second day in a row. The defeat means that India are out of the World Group Play-offs race.
From Pool A, it will be either China or Kazakhstan who will clash with winner of Pool B for a place in the Play-off, scheduled for April. India, who next take on Hong Kong, will strive to maintain their place in the Asia/Oceania Group I.