“With Sania being in the team, everyone was really motivated” – Coach Ankita Bhambri

In a chat with ITD volunteer Krishnakumar Duraiswamy, Indian Fed Cup Team coach Ankita Bhambri shares her experience and thoughts on the historic Fed Cup achievement –

Ankita Bhambri (Photo – Timmy Thomas)

Q) How does it feel moving into the World group Playoffs?

It’s fantastic. Everybody as a team came together collectively. There was Rutuja, Ankita and obviously Sania, who has so much experience, pulled us through all the rubbers when it was 1-all in rubbers in the last 3 days. It has been a fantastic week so far. 

Q) How was it physically in terms of 5-days format? How did the girls cope up?

Very tough and very tiring. We have been starting off slightly later in the evening, we begin our day by warming up at 2-2:30[p.m.] with the players coming in. We have had some morning sessions too, when the girls wanted to hit. To be spending tired days in the tennis court and we are famous because we are the last ones to leave, sometimes from 11:30 or 12:30 at night. That’s the time we have been finishing our matches. The best part is, we got home with the tie in our favour. So that’s been great.

The Ankita’s of Indian Tennis – Raina(left) and Bhambri(right) [Photo – Timmy Thomas]

Q) How was it with the venue location, changing from China to Dubai?

This has been a fantastic venue. The facilities were excellent. I feel that everybody gelled well on court. We were here a few days early. With Sania being in the team, everybody has been very motivated as well, because they understand the experience that she brings in. The fact that all of us have been players-me, Vishaal, we have been through these situations before in Fed Cup and Davis Cup. I know how tough it is, how tiring it can be. I think we have kept the team motivated, we have kept the team focused. It’s fantastic and we are very happy to go ahead, because it’s the first time that this is going to happen.

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