On the first day of the Fed Cub by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group I event in Nonthaburi, near Bangkok, Pool A candidate and host of the tournament, Thailand, won against Uzbekistan. China then pulled out an unexpected win against India.
In Pool B, there was an extended doubles match between Japan and Kazakhstan, with Japan victorious, and Korea, Rep, beat Chinese Taipei.
China, P.R. 2-1 India
Hao Chen Tang (CHN) d. Poojashree Venkatesha (IND) 63 62
Jing-Jing Lu (CHN) d. Sania Mirza (IND) 61 06 64
Rushmi Chakravarthi / Poojashree Venkatesha (IND) d. Jing-Jing Lu / Ran Tian (CHN) 63 62
Thailand 2-1 Uzbekistan
Sabina Sharipova (UZB) d. Nicha Lertpitaksinchai (THA) 63 75
Noppawan Lertcheewakarn (THA) d. Nigina Abduraimova (UZB) 63 62
Noppawan Lertcheewakarn / Nungnadda Wannasuk (THA) d. Nigina Abduraimova / Albina Khabibulina (UZB) 76(4) 76(4)
Thailand played in the centre court against Uzbekistan and, with Tamarine Tanasugarn and Akgul Amanmuradova both injured, it was left to Nicha Lertpitaksinchai and Sabrina Sharipova to contest the opening rubber.
Lertpitaksinchai, ranked No. 423, sprayed errors against 16 year-old Sharipova, ranked No. 469, who overpowered the Thai for a 63 75 victory.
Thailand’s top player Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, a former junior world No. 1 and junior Wimbledon champion, defeated Nigina Abduramova 63 62 in a windy second rubber.
Lertcheewakarn broke Abduramova’s serve three times on her way to winning the first set, and continued to mount on the pressure in the second as she played more aggressively to force her opponent to run from sideline to sideline.
Delicately poised at 1-1, the tie headed into a deciding doubles with Thailand’s Lertcheewakarn and Nungnadda Wannasuk taking on Uzbekistan’s Abduramova and Albina Khabibulina.
Thailand emerged victorious in a neck-and-neck match 76(4) 76(4), prompting captain Vittaya Samrej to compliment Lertcheewakarn’s performance, saying that she had “a good mindset and concentration.”
“Today we need to give a credit to young players for winning the first day,” said Tanasugarn, disappointed that an elbow problem kept her sidelined. “Due to an injury while training, making me unable to enter the court.
“Luckily, Akgul Amanmuradova cannot be able to play as well due to the injured, so today’s matches are the real fight of youngsters and Thailand made it better. Additionally, if I fit enough, I will definitely help our team in the next day.”
China also began well by triumphing 2-1 over India. Haochen Tang defeated world No. 534 Poojashree Venkatesh 63 62 to give the Chinese the perfect start in the first rubber.
Jing-Jing Lu, the world No. 191, then stunned the crowd by winning the first set against Indian superstar Sania Mirza, only for the former Top 30 player to restore order with a bagel in the second. Still suffering from an ongoing hamstring injury, Mirza’s movement got worse in the deciding set, allowing Lu to run out a 61 06 64 winner.
In the doubles, Poojashree Venkatesh and Rushmi Chakravarthi claimed some revenge for India by defeating Lu and Ran Tian 63 62.
“Today, our team plays very well, especially our best hand, Jing-Jing Lu,” said Chinese captain Zhong Fu. “Although she is 21 years-old, she has reasonable experiences and today played well in the match against Mirza.
“For the tomorrow’s game China will meet Thailand, the hosts, and we hope that we will pick the victory as a gift in the Chinese New Year. Yet, we need to check if Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand will fully play. If she does not play in the singles our team should have more opportunity.”
Thailand faces China on Thursday, while Uzbekistan plays India.
Japan 2-1 Kazakhstan
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) d. Misaki Doi (JPN) 67(4) 64 43 ret.
Ayumi Morita (JPN) d. Sessil Karatantcheva (KAZ) 64 76(5)
Rika Fujiwara / Ayumi Morita (JPN) d. Zarina Diyas / Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 64 63
Korea, Rep. 2-1 Chinese Taipei
Na-Ri Kim (KOR) d. Yi Chen (TPE) 61 75
Chin-Wei Chan (TPE) d. Ye-Ra Lee (KOR) 67(7) 32 ret.
Na-Ri Kim / So-Jung Kim (KOR) d. Chin-Wei Chan / Yi Chen (TPE)
Korea, Rep. got off to a winning start 2-1 against Chinese Taipei. Na Ri Kim defeated Yi Chen 61 75, but then Chinese Taipei drew level after Ye-Ra Lee had to retire due to a hip injury in the second rubber.
In the doubles, Na Ri Kim and So-Jung Kim secured the point for the Koreans when the duo from Chinese Taipei, Chin-Wei Chan and Yi Chen, were also forced to pull out. A twisted ankle for Chen was the culprit.
Japan came from behind to record a 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan. Ayumi Morita pulled the Japanese all square by overcoming Sessil Karatantcheva 64 76(5), and then she teamed up with Rika Fujiwara to beat Zarina Diyas and Galina Voskoboeva 64 62.
"Today’s singles match was tough,” said Morita. “Karatantcheva made a lot of good shots so I had to run very much, but I'm happy that I played well and won the match.
“In doubles, it was a little bit easier than single; we’ve been practicing a lot because playing well in doubles is very important in this kind of tournament. Hopefully, I can maintain this good form into the rest of tournament in Thailand and we will see the results.”
On Thursday, Japan plays with Korea, Rep., and Chinese Taipei meets Kazakhstan.
- Asia/Oceania Zone Group I
ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II
The Group II event is also taking place simultaneously in Nonthaburi. See below for full results.
Indonesia 3-0 Philippines
Ayu-Fani Damayanti (INA) d. Anna Clarice Patrimonio (PHI) 64 62
Lavinia Tanata (INA) d. Anna Christine Patrimonio (PHI) 62 60
Yayuk Basuki / Jessy Rompies (INA) d. Tamitha Nguyen / Anna Clarice Patrimonio (PHI) 61 62
Pakistan 2-1 Kyrgyzstan
Suhail Ushna (PAK) d. Emilia Tenizbaeva (KGZ) 61 61
Zhamilia Duisheeva (KGZ) d. Sarah Mahboob (PAK) 60 64
Sarah Mahboob / Suhail Ushna (PAK) d. Zhamilia Duisheeva / Emilia Tenizbaeva (KGZ) 64 62
Hong Kong China 3-0 Turkmenistan
Katherine Ip (HKG) d. Amangul Mollayeva (TKM) 60 60
Ling Zhang (HKG) d. Anastasiya Prenko (TKM) 60 60
Ho Ching Wu / Ling Zhang (HKG) d. Jennet Halliyeva / Anastasiya Prenko (TKM) 60 63
Singapore 2-1 Oman
Clare Fong (SIN) d. Maliha Al Awaidi (OMA) 60 62
Fatma Al Nabhani (OMA) d. Stefanie Tan (SIN) 60 64
Clare Fong / Stefanie Tan (SIN) d. Sarah Al Balushi / Fatma Al Nabhani (OMA) 36 75 62
- Asia/Oceania Zone Group II