Three members of the Indian women’s tennis team along with their coach Vishal Uppal arrived in the Latvian capital of Riga on Saturday to play in the Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup on April 16 and 17. “Our team has arrived in Riga and were welcomed by Mr Praveen, Ms Elina and Ms Santa representing the Indian Embassy and Indian Latvian Cultural and Economic Forum,” an All India Tennis Association (AITA) tweet said.
While Rutuja Bhosle, Zeel Desai and Karman Kaur Thandi took the flight to Riga from New Delhi, India’s tennis ace Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina will join their team-mates directly from Dubai where they have been training for the past week.
“Our team will have a day break and are expected to start practice on Monday,” wrote AITA.
Before leaving Indian shores, Uppal had tweeted, “Exciting times for Women’s Tennis in India. Look forward to uniting with the whole team in Latvia!”
This is the first time in history that the Indian women’s team has made it to the World Group Play-offs of the tournament, but their outing won’t be easy as they have to contend with the likes of former French Open champion and current world No. 54 Jelena Ostapenko and 2018 US Open semi-finalist Anastasija Sevastova, who was ranked world No. 11 at her peak.
The other members of the Latvian team are Diana Marcinkevica, Daniela Vismane and Patricija Spaka.