Sri Lanka fought a brave battle in their opening fixture of the Senior Fed Cup Tennis Championship 2019, when they beat Iran 2 – 1 earlier today (12th June). The 4-day tournament kicked off today in Dushanbe, Tajikistan with the first round of Group Stage ties coming alive.
This year, the 13 nations in Group II will compete in two different venues. In Dushanbe where Sri Lanka will contest, six teams will contest in two Pools of 3 teams (Pools A & B). The winners of each pool will play-off to determine which nation will advance to Asia/Oceania Zone Group I.
Sri Lanka was pooled in with Iran and Singapore to start off their Group stage in the tournament with the Lionesses takin on Iran on the opening day of the competition.
Starting the day off was recently crowned U18 ITF Week 1 champ Anjalika Kurera of Ave Maria Convent taking on Dorsa Cheraghi. The first set was evenly fought till Kurera broke free at 4 games all to win the closing couple of sets.
Kurera was more settled in the second set, being ahead at 4 games to 1 and later 5-2 and eventually going on to seal Lanka’s first victory 1 rubber to 0.
Savini Jayasooriya manned the second single rubber for Sri Lanka against Iran’s Mahta Khanloo. After a blistering start to the game, Jayasooriya was bamboozled by Khanloo in the next couple of sets, equaling the tie at 1 – 1 taking it to a deciding Doubles.
In the deciding Doubles, it was up to Rukshika Wijesooriya and Janali Manamperi to drive Sri Lanka home. Playing with the same odds were Mahta Khanloo and Kimiya Asbaghipour for Iran. Banking on their second serves and consistency, the Lionesses managed to secure Sri Lanka’s first win at the Fed Cup in straight sets.
With this win, Sri Lanka will temporarily move up the ladder to the top position in Pool B with one more match to go in the group against Singapore; This tie is scheduled for the 14th June. Singapore leads the head to head tally 5-1 with Sri Lanka only winning on one occasion in 1994.
Stay logged onto ThePapare.com, first and fast sports hub, for updates and results from Sri Lanka’s journey at the Fed Cup Tennis Championship 2019!