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India goes down 0-3 to Kiwis in Fed Cup opener

February 04, 2009 17:20 IST

The Indian team badly missed Sania Mirza as it made a horrendous start to the Fed Cup, losing 0-3 to New Zealand in their opening Group I tie of the Asia/Oceania zone in Perth on Wednesday.

Rushmi Chakravarthi, up against a non-ranked player Dianee Hollands, played the first match but she was a no match for her opponent and was outplayed 3-6, 0-6 by the Kiwi player.

All the responsibility to bring India back in the tie fell on the team's number one player in the event Ankita Bhambri. But Marina Eracovic, world number 68, thrashed the Delhi-based player 6-2, 6-3 to win the tie.

In the inconsequential doubles rubber, the pair of Ankita and Sanaa Bhambri, making her debut in Fed Cup, lost 2-6, 3-6 to Eracovic and Kairangi Vano.

Team captain Enrico Piperno was a disappointed man.

"The girls did not play to their potential. The opposition was tough but our girls played bad. It makes the job tougher for India now," Piperno told PTI.

India next plays Indonesia, who pulled off a big upset by beating Uzbekistan, on Friday.

"Indonesia surprised everyone today. Now we have another tough tie," Piperno said.

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