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Tennis: Japan earn chance of return to Fed Cup World Group II

Japan No. 1 Kurumi Nara had to come from behind to secure victory for Japan. Photos: Fed Cup / Dwi Ari Setyadi.

Japan No. 1 Kurumi Nara had to come from behind to secure victory for Japan. Photos: Fed Cup / Dwi Ari Setyadi.

February 7, 2015: Japan beat Kazakhstan 2-0 in Guangzhou on Saturday to top Asia/Oceania Zone Group I of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas and earn the chance to return to World Group II via the playoffs in April.

 

Japan won all their rubbers through the four days of the eight-team event at the Guangdong Olympic Tennis Centre, having won all three of their Pool A matches 3-0 before Saturday’s showdown.

 

Misaki Doi, Japan’s second string, opened the promotional playoff with a dominant 6-1, 6-3 win over Yulia Putintseva, the 20-year-old Kazakh ranked just eight places below Doi at World No. 111 (as of February 2).

 

Japan No. 1 Kurumi Nara then secured the victory as the World No. 44 battled from behind to record a hard-earned 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 win over Yaroslava Shvedova, Kazakhstan’s second-ranked player.

 

Japanese fans cheer on their team at the Guangdong Olympic Tennis Centre in Guangzhou.

Japanese fans cheer on their team at the Guangdong Olympic Tennis Centre in Guangzhou.

Zarina Diyas, the Kazakhstan No. 1, didn’t play in the singles. The 21-year-old, Asia’s second-ranked player behind Peng, won all three of her pool matches and was set to play in the doubles with Shvedova, but their match against Eri Hozumi and Shuko Aoyama wasn’t played.

 

Kazakhstan topped Pool B with wins over China (2-1), Chinese Taipei (2-1) and Thailand (2-0), with both Diyas and Shvedova winning all their singles matches.

 

China lost 2-1 to Korea Republic in the third-place playoff in disappointing fashion, after Asian Games champion Wang Qiang put the hosts ahead by beating Lee So-ra 6-2, 6-2. However, Zheng Saisai retired from her singles match against Choi Ji-hee at 2-2, then conceded the deciding doubles match she was due to play with Wang. China No. 1 Peng Shuai played one doubles match through the event, while No. 2 Zhang Shuai played one singles.

 

Thailand beat Uzbekistan 2-0 to finish fifth, while Hong Kong were relegated to the zone’s Group II after losing 2-1 to Chinese Taipei.

 

Japan lost to the Argentina in the first round of World Group II last February and were then relegated after losing to the Netherlands in the playoffs.

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP I
Venue: Guangdong Olympic Sports Centre, Guangzhou, China (hard – outdoor)

 

Promotion playoff: Japan defeated Kazakhstan 2-0
Misaki Doi (JPN) d. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 61 63
Kurumi Nara (JPN) d. Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 26 76(4) 62
Shuko Aoyama/Eri Hozumi (JPN) v Zarina Diyas/Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) not played

 

Third-place playoff: Korea Republic defeated China 2-1
Wang Qiang (CHN) d. Lee So-Ra (KOR) 62 62
Choi Ji-Hee (KOR) d. Zheng Saisai (CHN) 2-2 ret.
Han Na-Lae/Jang Su Jeong (KOR) d. Wang Qiang/Zheng Saisai (CHN) w/o

 

Fifth-place playoff: Thailand defeated Uzbekistan 2-0
Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) d. Sabina Sharipova (UZB) 61 76(5)
Luksika Kumkhum (THA) d. Nigina Abduraimova (UZB) 46 64 62
Arina Folts/Sabina Sharipova (UZB) v Nicha Lertpitaksinchai/Peangtarn Plipuech (THA) not played

 

Relegation play-off: Chinese Taipei defeated Hong Kong, China 2-1
Chan Yung-Jan (TPE) d. Wu Ho Ching (HKG) 61 63
Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) d. Zhang Ling (HKG) 36 64 63
Ng Man Ying/Sher Chun-Wing (HKG) d. Chan Yung-Jan/Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE) 26 0-1 ret.

 

Source: ITF (www.itftennis.com); Editing by SportAsia

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