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India misses out on Billie Jean King Cup Playoffs berth after 1-2 defeat to New Zealand

India misses out on Billie Jean King Cup Playoffs berth after 1-2 defeat to New Zealand

India will continue to stay in Group I for the next year, as will New Zealand, despite winning their final tie of the BJK Cup.

India has missed out on the Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup Playoffs after being handed a 1-2 defeat at the hands of New Zealand. Part of Asia-Oceania Group I, India needed two wins to secure their place. Rutuja Bhosale had given India a great start, winning the opening match, but suffered a straight-set defeat in the two remaining ties and crashed out of the event.

Ankita Raina disappoints once again

Despite being India’s top-ranked (185) singles player, Ankita Raina managed to win just two games. Going against world number 169, Lulu Sun, she lost the first set 6-2, and it got only worse in the second set as she was bageled. Meanwhile, Rutuja Bhosale claimed a good win over Monique Barry 6-2, 7-6(5), handing India a 0-1 lead.

Tied at 1-1, India needed their Ankita and Prarthana Thombare to take them home. They quickly lost the first set to Paige Hourigan, and Erin Routliffe led 6-1 and was down 5-1 in the second. However, they came back and leveled things at 5-5, only to lose it.

India was in contention to make the Billie Jean King Cup Playoffs until the very last match. After their hard-fought victories against Taiwan and South Korea, missing out by a whisker will hurt the Indian team. After this loss, New Zealand and India will continue to stay in Group I for the next year.

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