Georgia will enter the promotional play-off as Pool B winners after recording a second 3-0 victory of the week against Bosnia/Herzegovina at the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Europe/Africa Zone Group II event in Lithuania.
After sitting out yesterday’s gruelling win against South Africa, Ekaterine Gorgodze returned to the fold in the opening rubber, coming through a tight first set before accelerating away from Anita Husaric, winning 75 62 to give the Georgians an early advantage.
Gorgodze’s win gave Sofia Shapatava, already a good contender for the player of the week, a chance to seal the tie for her nation, and grasp that chance she did, defeating Bosnia/Herzegovina’s lynchpin from the first two days, Jasmina Tinjic, in straight sets. Shapatava has now won all five of the rubbers that she has played in this week.
Although the whitewash was completed in underwhelming fashion as Gorgodze and Sofia Kvatsabaia won following a retirement from Husaric and Tinjic after just three games, the Georgians will go into its promotional play-off tie with Finland brimming with confidence.
The Finns, meanwhile, lost a tight encounter with Liechtenstein to end the week with two wins and one defeat, leaving them in second place in Pool A.
Emma Laine gave Finland an excellent start, recovering from a set down against the previously unbeaten Kathinka von Deichmann to record a 46 61 75 victory.
But Stephanie Vogt overcame a second set blip to level the tie in the second rubber, defeating Piia Suomalainen 62 36 61. Von Deichmann then helped Vogt complete the comeback, the pair winning the doubles in straight sets to leave Liechtenstein at the head of Pool A.
After a scintillating start to the week, Vogt, the highest ranked player at this event, has struggled to consistently produce her best tennis, but the world No. 152 seems to have found her groove and will hope to continue the form she has shown today in the promotional play-off tie with Bosnia/Herzegovina tomorrow. A win will give Liechtenstein the opportunity to compete in Zone Group I for the first time.
At the other end of the Zone Group II scale, a pair of comfortable wins for Lithuania and South Africa ensured that they would both carry some momentum into tomorrow’s relegation play-offs.
Hosts Lithuania condemned Montenegro to a third 0-3 defeat in Pool A, with all four members of the team contributing to the win.
Akvile Parazinskaite and Lina Stanciute both won their singles rubbers before Agne Cepelyte and Justina Mikulskyte completed the rout in the doubles. All three matches were completed in under an hour.
In Pool B, South Africa bounced back from yesterday’s disappointment against Georgia to see off Egypt. Madrie Le Roux overcame Sandra Samir before the Egyptian No. 1, Mayar Sherif, was forced to retire in her match against Chanel Simmonds.
Natasha Fourouclas and Natalie Grandin then overcame Samir and Ola Abou Zekry in two close sets to complete the victory. South Africa will now face Montenegro as the teams battle to remain at this level for another year, while Egypt must take on a revitalised Lithuania team.
A full summary of the results from Siauliai this week is available here.