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Indian Fed Cup team relegated

February 07, 2009 17:35 IST

India were on Saturday relegated to Group II of the Asia/Oceania zone after their humiliating 0-3 defeat against Chinese Taipei in the Fed Cup play-off tie here.

Indian team, which could not win even a single match in the whole tournament and goes back to Group II since making the Group I in 2004.

Rushmi Chakravarthi lost the first match 2-6, 5-7 to Hwang I-Hsuan and then Ankita Bhambri surrendered 5-7, 1-6 to Chan Chin-Wei, erasing India's all hopes of staying in the Group I. In the dead doubles rubber, the Bhambri sisters went down 4-6, 2-6 against Chan/Chuang Chia-Jung.

India was forced to field a depleted side as Sania Mirza pulled out of event at the last minute, owing to an abdominal injury.

Also two of the last year's players -- Sunitha Rao and Shikha Uberoi -- did not play as they were rendered ineligible under the government's new sports policy.

"I am disappointed. This is is the level where we have to win. I really missed Sania. She leads the team from the front and going into doubles at 1-1 rather than 0-2 makes a lot of difference," team captain Enrico Piperno told PTI.

"We have 15-16 months to go for Commonwealth Games and hopefully with lot of practice and hard work we will be able to prepare (a good team)," he added.

There was not much hope going into the tie with trio of Ankita, Sanaa and Rushmi but returning without winning a single match speaks volume of state of Indian women tennis.

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