New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) Karman Kaur Thandi struggled to contain unforced errors but still managed her first Fed Cup win of the 2018 season as she prevailed over Eudice Chong to give India a 1-0 lead against Hong Kong here today.

Up against a lower-ranked opponent, placed a humble 761 in the WTA list, Karman won 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 24 minutes for only the second win of her Fed Cup career.

With this win, she snapped a four-match losing streak as the last time she won a Fed Cup match was exactly a year ago when she travelled to Astana, Kazakhstan.

After two tough losses, this win will boost Karman s confidence. It s the first time that she has given India a 1-0 lead.

Ankita Raina will now fight it out with Ling Zhang to give India its first win of the season.

Karman, who played much better yesterday against a high- quality opponent, remained erratic throughout. Against a better opponent she would have struggled badly.

Break of serve was order of the match as both players struggled to hold. Karman lost her serve thrice and Chong, who flew from US to compete for the country, dropped serve five times in the contest.

Aditya Sachdeva, who has coached Karman from her childhood but has not worked consistently since she was training away, agreed that Karman needs to work on the mental part of her game.

“She needs to play bigger points better. At 15-30 or 15- 40 when you can hit the opponent psychologically she gives away free points,” Sachdeva, who has again started working with Karman, told PTI.

“But the good thing is she is a quick learner and implements in match. We worked on her serve yesterday and it showed in the match.”

Sachdeva also felt that playing for country has its own pressures and that has not allowed Karman to play as freely as she can.

“It s different when you are playing Fed Cup in India. I found nothing wrong in her game today. She is only 19 and will mature. She also grew by a few inches in the last few months and it hampers your movement,” he assessed.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.