Former world No 1 Sania Mirza showed her class as she, partnering with Ankita Raina, earned a win in the deciding doubles rubber in the Fed Cup match against Chinese Taipei in Dubai on Friday.
The tie was locked at 1-1 after Rutuja Bhosale came back from the brink in the deciding set to win yet another marathon contest but Raina suffered her second straight singles defeat. But Sania and Ankita teamed up to win a gruelling three-set doubles match. They beat former World No.1 Latisha Chan and En Shuo Liang 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 24 minutes.
This was India’s third win on the trot after losing the opener to China. The top-two teams in the six-nation Asia/Ocenia Group I will make it to the playoffs in April.
Earlier, Bhosale made a confident start against lower-ranked Ya-Yi Yang but had to arrest a mid-match slump for a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6) win over a player who is placed at 852 as compared to her 433rd position.
After splitting the first two sets, Rutuja looked slipping away fast as she trailed 0-4 but made a stunning comeback to stretch the match to the tie-breaker. She eventually held her nerves to pull it off after saving three match points in the contest that lasted two hours and 44 minutes.
In the second singles, India No 1 Raina clashed with En Shuo Liang but lost 6-3 2-6 3-6 after saving two match points in the decider.
With PTI Inputs