Indian tennis star Ankita Raina gave a good account of herself, taking a set off world No. 52, Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, before going down 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 in the opening match of the Billie Jean King Cup World Group play-off tie on Friday.
A day after the top-ranked Indian singles player said that she ‘gets her best results when representing the country’, Raina lost the first set 6-2 but came back strongly to win the second and stretch the second-ranked Latvian, who won the French Open title in 2017, before going down 5-7 in the third.
An exhausted Ostapenko let out a big roar after the contest and threw her racquet to the ground.
The Raina-Ostapenko match will be followed by the tie between India’s Karman Kaur Thandi and the top-ranked Latvian player, Anastasija Sevastova.
Day 2 of the tournament will see the reverse singles matches where Raina will take on Sevastova and Thandi will lock horns with Ostapenko.
The last match on Day 2 will be a doubles encounter where the experienced Indian pair of Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina will take on Diana Marcinkevica and Daniela Vismane of Latvia.
The winner of this tie will advance to the 2021 Qualifying Round.