On the second day of Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group I and II, the teams were back in action and the favourites started to make their climb.
Before the matches started the Kazakhstan team was invited to a press conference where the players had to answer some tricky questions from the local journalists. Yaroslava Shvedova, Galina Voskoboyeva, Sesil Karatancheva, Yulia Putintseva, Kamila Kerimbayeva and the team captain Dias Doskaraev all participated in the meeting.
Captain Dias Doskaraev said: “Our goals are still the same. Last year was succesfull for us, but not so much against France where Marion Bartoli was really very strong.
"Now our team is physically good. What about our opponents? The China team is very good, but before this match we will have the tie against Thailand. Luksika Kumkhum is a strong solid player joined by the experienced Tamarine Tanasugarn are both ready to play singles and doubles matches.
"In the Group of Asia and Oceania it is always difficult to compete because there a lot of good players. There will be some tight matches but our goal is to get to the next round”
“For two of our players, Kerimbaeva and Putintseva, it will be their debut appearance in Fed Cup event,” added the Kazakh captain.
The Kazakh team longtime leader Yaroslava Shvedova said: ”I have great relationships with all my teammates, we are training together and the atmosphere in the team is very positive. I am happy to be a big part of it and hope that we will make a great result here.”
The one big question in Pool A in Group II was whether Vietnam would be able to take a point off Hong Kong, which has players with the highest WTA ranking among the others in this group.
But the doubts about this question didn’t bother anybody but the Vietnam captain Quoc Phong Tran. During the first rubber Ho Ching Wu from Hong Kong impressed her opponent Hao Thi Tam Tran with the strong and consistent baseline display for a 63 62 win.
The first match was the only one where the Vietnam team could put up a bit of a fight. In the second singles rubber Ling Zhang didn’t notice her opponent Knanh Phi Huynh beating the Vietnam player 60 60.
The same story happened in the third doubles rubber where Ling Zhang and Eudice Chong won 60 60 and were no doubt stronger than Minh Trang Dao and Thi Thanh Binh Phan. This result will leave Vietnam struggling in the same Group II in the next Fed Cup event.
In Pool B the two teams with young representatives were defending the colours of their flags. On the second day Sri Lanka played the first tie against Singapore, who had suffered a 3-0 defeat by Philippines the day before.
The first match of this tie between Geraldine Ang from Signapore and Himashe Waduge from Sri Lanka was very tight with the girls fighting for every ball leading to an eventual tiebreak.
The Singapore player held her nerve to seal the first set 76(5) and then capitalised on that finishing strongly 76(5) 63. The second match was under the full dominance of the Signapore player Rheeya Doshi over Amretha Muttiah and was finished in just over an hour 61 63.
Nevertheless the Sri Lankan doubles team Muttiah and Samara Singhe finished the day strongly earning the decisive point for their country defeating their opponents 61 63 to set the final score in Singapore's favour 2-1.
In Pool C there was a tough tie between Kyrgyzstan and Iraq. In the first rubber Inna Volkovich defeated Halla Alajeely in straight sets 63 61. But the second match lasted for over two hours and Iraqi Ghada Alajeely went through an amazing comeback saving match points en route to beat Alina Lazareva 57 75 60.
But in the doubles match, Lazareva and Volkovich kept all intrigue far away from the court with a confident win 62 64. Kyrgyzstan won 2-1.
In Pool D India was way stronger than Pakistan. Prarthana Thombare from India dominated the match against Ushna Suhail from Pakistan 60 61. At the second rubber Ankita Raina was much better in movement all around the court trying to get all the balls back to defeat Sara Mansoor 61 62. India won 3-0.
In the same Pool, where India is running forward to play in Group I in 2015, the New Zealand team took on Iran. Emma Hayman played the first rubber against Amini Hajibashi from Iran and showed very impressive attacking tennis to win 61 62.
The second rubber saw Marina Erakovic – world No. 50 - hand a master class to 15-year-old Sadaf Sadeghvaziri to win the match 60 60. With the same score Abigail Guthrie and Dianne Hollands set up a showdown against India.
In Zone Group I, Uzbekistan was delighted to pull through against China P.R. When the first match started nobody could believe that Uzbekistan'sr Sabina Sharipova (No. 340) had only won one point in the first two games against Liu Fangzhou (No. 312).
The young Uzbek would start to progress from point to point. With a break in the third game of the first set Sabina stopped making mistakes and found her game, producing some very aggressive and a solid display that sealed her victory 62 64.
For the second match, the Chinese team nominated Wang Qiang (No. 256) against Nigina Abduraimova (No. 228) and even though Nigina had a little advantage on paper, she made too many unforced errors and found herself on the losing end after one hour and 45 minutes with Wang winning 76(3) 63.
In the final rubber Abduraimova (No. 306 in doubles) and Sharipova (No. 642 in doubles) were stronger than Zhang Shuai (No. 41 in doubles) and Liu Fangzhou (No. 1022 in doubles) to win 61 64.
The Uzbek doubles team’s simple plan was to target the less experienced Liu and it worked. The Uzbek's important win raised their chances for the finals spot. Uzbekistan won 2-1.
In the first match of the tie between Korea, Republic and Chinese Taipei Yoo Mi (No. 410) from Korea defeated Taipei’s Yang Chia in straight sets 64 62.
Korean Jang Su (No. 324) had a very tough second rubber against Chan Chin (No. 372) with the score 61 67(6) 75. The match lasted for more than two hours and was warmly supported by the rest of the late crowd at the National Tennis Centre in Astana.
In the doubles match the Korean duo of Han and Lee overpowered and outplayed their opponents Lee and Yang 62 61 to hand Korea a 3-0 win.
In the last match of the day Thailand was stronger than Indonesia dominating with a commanding 3-0 in their tie.
Noppawan Lertcheewakarn brought the first point for her team with an easy 62 63 win. Luksika Kumkhum faced some serious challenge in the first set, but finished strongly to defeat Lavinia Tananta 76(5) 60.
And in the final match of the day Tanasugarn partnering Wongteanchai comfortably defeated Grende and Tananta 62 63.