On the third day of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group I event in Nonthaburi, near Bangkok, Japan powered through to set up a meeting against Uzbekistan on Saturday, with a place in April’s World Group II play-offs at stake.
China ,Thailand, Kazakhstan and Korea, Rep. all secured a place in Group I next year, but will have to play each other for final positions, while Chinese Taipei and India now face off to decide which team is relegated to Group II for 2012.
Uzbekistan 3-0 China, P.R.
Sabina Sharipova (UZB) d. Hao Chen Tang (CHN) 63 62
Nigina Abduraimova (UZB) d. Jing-Jing Lu (CHN) 46 61 61
Nigina Abduraimova / Albina Khabibulina (UZB) d. Jing-Jing Lu / Hao Chen Tang (CHN) 76(8) 06 62
Thailand 2-1 India
Nicha Lertpitaksinchai (THA) d. Ashvarya Shrivastava (IND) 62 60
Sania Mirza (IND) d. Noppawan Lertcheewakarn (THA) 62 60
Noppawan Lertcheewakarn / Nungnadda Wannasuk (THA) d. Rushmi Chakravarthi / Sania Mirza (IND) 36 60 75
Uzbekistan produced a shock 3-0 victory over China to leapfrog their opponents in the Pool A standings and book a place in Saturday’s showdown with Japan.
The Chinese had won their opening two ties, whereas Uzbekistan lost to Thailand on the first day, but the whitewash win was enough to lift the Uzbeks to the top of Pool A.
Sabina Sharipova got the ball rolling by comprehensively defeating 16 year-old Haochen Tang 63 62, before Nigina Abduraimova battled back from a set down to win 46 61 61 against Jing-Jing Lu.
Although that sealed the tie, Uzbekistan still needed to triumph in the doubles to guarantee top spot. Abduraimova partnered Albina Khabibulina to beat Lu and Tang 76(8) 06 62.
“Before the tournament started we set the goal to hold the place in Group I for next year, but our players did very well at all times and pushed our team into the final round,” said Akgul Amanmuradova, Ukbekistan’s No. 1 player who has been sidelined due to an elbow injury.
“I'm still injured and unable to enter the court, but I will cheer for them as best as I can because our players need extra energy to play against Japan.”
In the other Pool A tie, Thailand secured second place with a 2-1 win over India, which condemned their opponents to a relegation dog fight on Saturday.
The tie headed into a deciding doubles after the singles rubbers were split, and it was the Thai pair of Noppawan Lertcheewakarn and Nungnadda Wannasuk who edged a thriller 36 60 75 against Rushmi Chavravarthi and Sania Mirza.
"In doubles, we played very well and won against a great team of India,” said Thai captain Vittaya Samrej. “We need to give thanks to Uzbekistan who won against China, making us climb up to second place. Tomorrow is just fine and relaxing because it will not have any effect to relegate or promote.”
It won’t be relaxing for Mirza, though, as the former Australian open mixed doubles champion admits that she was a little pressure by leading the India’s team but was satisfied in her form.
"Playing as a team, it’s very tough for me because I have to play in singles and doubles and must win in order to increase the chances,” said Mirza.
“Our team is struggling and dealing with injured players but others have two players to make a score. Personally, I 'm happy on the way I played since I played well especially in the singles, today. In doubles it was very close. For tomorrow’s play-off, we will try our best and we will see.”
Japan 3-0 Chinese Taipei
Rika Fujiwara (JPN) d. Yui-Lynn Miao (TPE) 60 61
Junri Namigata (JPN) d. Ting-Fei Juan (TPE) 67(6) 63 61
Misaki Doi / Junri Namigata (JPN) d. Chin-Wei Chan / Yui-Lynn Miao (TPE) 61 62
Kazakhstan 2-1 Korea, Rep.
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) d. Ye-Ra Lee (KOR) 62 61
So-Jung Kim (KOR) d. Sessil Karatantcheva (KAZ) 64 75
Zarina Diyas / Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) d. Na Ri Kim / So-Jung Kim (KOR) 64 60
Japan maintained their 100 per cent record and their domination of Pool B with a third straight victory, this time 3-0 against Chinese Taipei who are yet to get off the mark and now face India in a bid to avoid relegation.
Rika Fujiwara opened with a straight forward 60 61 scoreline against Yui-Lynn Miao, and then Junri Namigata overcame a first set slip to beat Ting-Fei Juan 67(6) 63 61. Namigata partnered Misaki Doi to win the doubles 61 62.
“Yesterday was vital for us when we won against Korea,” said Japanese captain Takeshi Murakami. “Today we relaxed but I tried to make our players play with the will they showed in the first two days. For Ayumi Morita, our best player, I gave her a break so she would be fresh and ready for the fight against Uzbekistan which will definitely be tough.”
Morita, the world No.58, reached the Australian Open third round a fortnight ago and she will need to rediscover that form to help Japan against Uzbekistan.
"I 'm very happy that my team get though to the final here after me myself did well in Australia,” said Morita. “I hope that I can help my team a lot after relaxing today so my body is now very fresh, in the final round should be a lot of pressure because we want to go back to World Group II play-offs, but we will play in our way."
In the other Pool B tie, Kazakhstan recorded a 2-1 triumph over Korea, Rep., decided in the doubles rubber when Zarina Diyas and Galina Voskoboeva beat Na-Ra Kim and So-Jung Kim 64 60.
"Today my players made the best job and defeated Korea,” said Kazakhstan captain Yegor Shaldunov. “Our athletes did well and we got the match result as we hoped. Sessil Karatantcheva played since the first day and feeling pressure, but our team got the second place in the Pool B.
- Asia/Oceania Zone Group I
ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP II
The Group II event is also taking place in Nonthaburi, where Indonesia and Hong Kong, China have progressed to the promotion play-off having not dropped a rubber in their round-robin ties.
Indonesia 3-0 Kyrgyzstan
Ayu-Fani Damayanti (INA) d. Emilia Tenizbaeva (KGZ) 60 60
Lavinia Tananta (INA) d. Zhamilia Duisheeva (KGZ) 62 60
Yayuk Basuki / Jessy Rompies (INA) d. Zhamilia Duisheeva / Alena Panfilova (KGZ) 60 60
Philippines 3-0 Pakistan
Tamitha Nguyen (PHI) d. Ushna Suhail (PAK) 57 63 63
Anna Clarice Patrimonio (PHI) d. Sarah Mahboob Khan (PAK) 64 60
Anna Christine Patrimonio / Marinel Rudas (PHI) d. Saba Aziz / Sara Mansoor (PAK) 60 61
Hong Kong, China 3-0 Oman
Ho Ching Wu (HKG) d. Sarah Al Balushi (OMA) 60 61
Ling Zhang (HKG) d. Fatma Al Nabhani (OMA) 62 16 61
Katherine Ip / Yan-Tung Ki (HKG) d. Sarah Al Balushi / Maliha Al-Awaidy (OMA) 60 61
Singapore 2-1 Turkmenistan
Clare Fong (SIN) d. Amangul Mollayeva (TKM) 62 61
Stefanie Tan (SIN) d. Anastasiya Prenko (TKM) 63 62
Jenneta Halliyeva / Anastasiya Prenko (TKM) d. Ming Ming Joy Chia / Khee Yen Wee (SIN) 62 64
- Asia/Oceania Zone Group II