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Billie Jean King Cup 2022 | India handed 0-3 defeat by Japan in Sania Mirza’s absence

On Tuesday, the Indian women’s tennis team lost 3-0 to Japan at Antalya, Turkey, at the Billie Jean King Cup 2022 Asia/Oceania Group I. India’s Rutuja Bhosale, ranked 477, was the first to go up in the tie against Yuki Naito, ranked 229, on the clay courts at MTA Tennis Academy.

Ankita Raina (309), India’s top-ranked women’s singles tennis player, went down against Mai Hontama, who is ranked 129th. Even though they were on the defensive, Ankita Raina fought back and saved seven break opportunities in the opening set to stay in the match. The best Indian singles player, on the other hand, was defeated 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 48 minutes, leaving India behind 2-0 in the tie.

In the absence of Sania Mirza, Sowjanya Bavisetti and Riya Bhatia were tasked with leading the team against Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan.

The Indian duo, on the other hand, were handed their second bagel of the day and fell 6-0, 6-4 in one hour and eleven minutes, losing the tie 3-0.

On Wednesday, the Indian women’s tennis team will face China, which has players such as Qinwen Zheng (singles-71), Qiang Wang (singles-97), and Lin Zhu (singles-106) among its ranks. In the next few days, India will play Indonesia, South Korea, and New Zealand in their remaining Group I fixtures.

The top two clubs in Group I will advance to the play-offs, while the fifth and sixth-placed teams will be relegated to the Group II zone next year. The Billie Jean King Cup, originally known as the Fed Cup, is a women’s tennis global team tournament.

Mirza, who went undefeated in the group stages last season, assisted India in qualifying for the World Group playoffs for the first time. India, on the other hand, fell 3-1 against Latvia in the playoff tie and was relegated to the group stages.

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