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‘Sad’ Halep to miss Fed Cup tie because of injury
February 07, 2018
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Bucharest: World number two Simona Halep said on Tuesday that she will miss Romania’s Fed Cup tie with Canada this weekend after an injury picked up at a gruelling Australian Open failed to heal.

“After spending the last week resting and rehabbing my injury from the Australian Open, unfortunately it has not recovered quickly enough,” the 26-year-old said on Facebook.

“I’m sad as playing for Romania is very important to me but I look forward to seeing everyone in Cluj as I will travel to support my teammates in this very important tie. Good luck Romania!”

Halep had a tough time in Melbourne last month, turning her ankle and battling her way through several marathon matches to a hot and humid final, only to lose to Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki.

She later admitted crying after the loss, the third time she has been runner-up in a Grand Slam final, but said that “life goes on” and vowed to bounce back once her body healed.

India confident

On the eve of India’s Fed Cup Asia-Oceania group-1 tennis opener against China at the RK Khanna Stadium Complex, captain Ankita Bhambri on Tuesday exuded confidence about her team, saying there is more depth in the current set-up.

Ankita at the same time, cautioned the current Indian squad comprising Ankita Raina, Karman Kaur Thandi, Prarthana Thombare and Pranjala Yadlapalli, that the tournament, which concludes on Feb.10, will not be an easy affair.

“We have both the top singles players in the team, obviously it’s not going to be very easy but I feel they are good enough to give a tough fight to the Chinese players on Wednesday,” Ankita said.

Sania blow

Asked whether the absence of India’s women’s doubles star Sania Mirza would affect the morale of the side, Ankita said: “Sania is the country’s one of the greatest tennis players, her presence would surely have been a confidence booster.”

The tournament will be a great stage for the wiry 19-year-old Karman to open the campaign for India, against the Chinese No.2, Yafan Wang, ranked 158 in the world.

If Karman is at the top of her game, India will have a good chance, as Ankita has been playing pretty sharp lately. Moreover, the 259th-ranked Ankita has had a few interesting matches against the Chinese No.1 Lin Zhu, ranked 115 in the world, and be better prepared to record the first win against her.

In doubles, Prarthana has been playing well in the WTA circuit, reaching a rank of 130 while Pranjala is ready to play if pressed into service.

Commenting on the advantage of playing at home, Ankita, who served as the coach of the women’s team during the Asian Indoor Games last year, pointed out that the Indian girls keep playing around the world, and less at home. Thus, the conditions may be equally alien to everyone.

“It is going to be tough. Our players have to step it up,” she said.

India will play Kazakhstan on the second day of the tournament. Kazakhstan has the best two players among the eight teams here, in Yuliya Putintseva and Zarina Diyas, ranked 50 and 60 respectively.

Agencies

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