The third day of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Groups I and II saw a very confident start for the host nation in their tie against Indonesia in Pool A.
The statistics before this meeting wer definitely on the Kazakhs' side with the hosts winning the last two ties with the same score 3-0. And the story wasn’t any different this time.
In the first match the 19-year-old Yulia Putintseva (No. 127) produced a strong performance to overpower her opponent Vita Taher in just under an hour. A solid top spin display from the baseline combined with smart drop shots sealed a dominant victory for the young Kazakh tennis star.
In the second rubber the Kazakh team leader Yaroslava Shvedova (No. 79) started slowly against Lavinia Tananta (No. 602) by letting the Indonesian start with a break of serve for a 2-0 lead.
After that, the home favorite handled her nerves and turned on the full experience of a great fighter to crush her opponent with powerful groundstrokes to win 63 61.
The doubles match was dominated by the higher ranked Kazakh duo of Yulia Putintseva and Galina Voskoboeva, who dismissed Michele Khoo Li Sha and Yus Syazlin Nabila Binti Yusri 61 61 in just 50 minutes.
In Pool B despite the same 3-0 score for both the winning nations, the matches were much more tense than in Pool A.
The first rubber between Sabina Sharipova from Uzbekistan and Chia Yang from Chinese Taipei turned out to be a very challenging and interesting match with lots of ups and downs on each side.
But after almost two-and-a-half hours on court it was Sharipova, who came out as a winner and brought the first point for her team in this tie with 76(1) 64 win.
The second rubber was even more tense with Uzbek player Nigina Abduraimova showing great enthusiasm and will to win coming back from a set down to defeat Chin Chan 36 62 63 in a battle between youth and experience.
Even with a 2-0 lead the Uzbekistan doubles team of Arina Folts and Nigina Abduraimova wasn’t lacking a bit of motivation to win the hard-fought third match against Chin Chan and Ting-Fei Juan 60 46 64 to secure the Uzbeks the confidence of top place in Pool B.
The Chinese team had to work hard for a chance of reaching the Group I final as they met tough resistance during the singles rubbers against Korea.
Fangzhou Liu defeated Na-Lae Han in three sets 63 46 63 in the first match that lasted more than two hours. In the second match Qiang Wang took an easy first set against So–Ra Lee from Korea, but struggled in the second, before starting to play more patiently on the deciding points to finally clinch the match 62 75.
In the second set of the third match Shuai Peng and Shuai Zhang gave a master class of playing doubles before defeating the Korean pair Na-Lae-Han and Mi Yoo in straight sets 64 60.
Earlier in the day there was some top action in Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group II as well.
The winner of Pool C was decided in a tie between Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The real battle here was only in the first singles rubber when Jahana Bayramova from Turkmenistan pulled off a tough, physical win over Inna Volkovich from Kyrgyzstan in two hours and 15 minutes with a 61 16 63 scoreline.
In the second rubber a strong lefthander Anastasiya Prenko destroyed Alina Lazareva 60 60 in just 42 minutes. The Turkmenistan pair of Prenko and Jenneta Halliyeva also left no chances to their opponents, Lazareva and Erika Botalieva defeating them 61 61 for a 3-0 win and a top position in their Pool.
For the place in Group I next year Turkmenistan is set to play the leader of Pool B – Philippines - which dismissed Sri Lanka 3-0 for a perfect 12-0 sets record in its Pool.
In Pool A, Hong Kong, China also completed the perfect 12-0 sets record leaving no chances to Malaysia winning the tie 3-0 and ending up in the lead of its’ Pool. Hong Kong now plays India, who edged New Zeland in the late decisive doubles rubber. It was probably the toughest tie at this stage of the Group with the two teams striving to reach the next round.
In the fst match the Indian player Prarthana Thombare confidently defeated Dianne Hollands 61 64. Then the highest ranked player in the whole Group II, Marina Erakovic from New Zealand, levelled the score with an easy 61 62 win over Ankita Raina.
For the third rubber the New Zealand captain Pavlina Nola decided to make a change in their doubles team substituting Emma Hayman with Marina Erakovic.
With the tie and the ticket to the next round hanging on the edge it turned out to be the most important match of the day. But in the end it was India who celebrated the win with Sania Mirza and Prarthana Thombare putting pressure on their opponents from the very beginning to defeat Abigail Guthrie and Erakovic 75 61 and take the step forward.