Shalini Thakur optimistic about the future of Indian women’s tennis

Captain Shalini Thakur Chawla, right, with Ankita Raina during the recent Billie Jean King Cup women’s tennis event in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Despite not making it past China and Japan, the Indian women’s tennis team is optimistic about the future. After beating Thailand and Uzbekistan, the team competed well in the Billie Jean King Cup in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and maintained its position in the top tier.

The captain of the team, Shalini Thakur Chawla, praised her players for their hard work and talent. “Our players match opponents stroke for stroke, but they need a little more belief and consistency,” she remarked. The best players “play solid and stick to the basics.”

Ankita Raina, who has been fighting her best for the country for the last ten years, was particularly impressive. She was up 3-1 against Moyuka Uchijima, and had a point for 4-1. Shalini commended her passion and tenacity.

Although it rained on the last day of the tournament, the Indian team managed to put up a quality performance against Korea. The drama of the last day saw Korea win against China, who had rested its main players. A win for Korea would have put them in the World Group play-off, and a loss against India could mean relegation.

Japan’s team, however, was too strong for all the others, dropping only one match out of 14.

Shalini believes that her team has what it takes to reach the top levels of the sport. “After qualifying to group-1 in 2015, the girls have done a tremendous job over the years to sustain the level and stay in the top group,” she said. “We did make it to the World Group play-off two years ago.”

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