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Ankita, Karman help India beat Chinese Taipei 2-0 to stay in Asia/ Oceania Group I

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Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Mundi chalked up impressive victories to help India beat Chinese Taipei 2-0 in the Fed Cup relegation play-off to retain their place in the Asia/Oceania Group I at the R.K.Khanna Tennis Stadium here today.
 
To stay in the Group I, India desperately needed a  winning start  and that is what Karman gave to  the hosts. Unlike in previous matches, this morning the 284-ranked Karnan looked confident and defeated Lee Pei-Chi  7-6(4), 6-3.
 
In the second match, Ankita overcame spirited  Chieh-Yu Hsu  6-4, 5-7, 6-1 to seal  the tie for India.
 
This was Karman's second win in four matches but came at a time when her side needed it most. She  served well, firing seven aces, but  also muffed many easy put-away volleys.
 
In the first set, Karman broke Lee in the eighth but then, serving for the set, the Indian committed several unforced errors and was broken by  Lee. In the tie-breaker, Karman managed to seal the set with a forehand winner.
 
In the next, the 19-year-old Punjabi held her nerves as she saved a breakpoint and then  broke her rival in the eighth game to clinch the set and match.
 
Anticipating an easy victory for India, the crowd cheered Ankita as she  came on to the court  to take on 377-ranked Chieh-Yu.
   
However, Chieh-Yu put up a stiff resistance and it took nearly three hours for the Indian to emerge winner in three sets 6-4, 5-7, 6-1. With this, the 25-year-old Ankita has won all her singles against four teams, and the team has beaten Hong Kong and Taipei.
 
Ankita  took some time to settle as she dropped her first game. However, she won three games in a row to take a 3-2 lead, breaking Chieh-Yu in the fourth game and then again broke her in the eighth for a 5-3 lead.
 
Though down by a set, unfancied Chieh-Yu made Ankita toil in the next for one hour and 22 minutes before drawing parity.
 
The Chinese Taipei girl  broke Ankita in the fifth. The Indian  came back strongly,  saving two set points to make it 5-5, but  she  lost serve in the 11th and Chieh-Yu served out the set .
 
Chieh-Yu took a medical timeout to treat her left shoulder immediately after drawing parity. That affected her focus and concentration 
 
Ankita  overwhelmed her,  taking  a 4-0 lead and though she lost a serve, it made no difference to the outcome of the set.  
 
"I am thrilled to know the levels of my physical fitness and the limits to which I can push myself. It was tiring through the week with tough matches, but am glad to win today against a gritty opponent," Ankita  said after the match.
 
In the qualification match between group toppers, for the World Group-2 play-off, Japan beat Kazakhstan 2-1 to book the lone berth.
 
Thailand won the other relegation play-off 2-1 to push Hong Kong back into group-2.
 
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