Australia and New Zealand advanced to the final of the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group I playoffs yesterday, Australia with their third straight 3-0 win and New Zealand needing a three-set doubles victory.
Casey Dellacqua beat Hwang I-hsuan of Taiwan 6-1, 6-1 before Sam Stosur gave Australia an unbeatable 2-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Chan Chin-wei.
Stosur and Rennae Stubbs extended Australia’s unbeaten run at the tournament with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) win over Chan and Chuang Chia-jung in the doubles.
Australia finished on top of Group B and progressed to today’s final against Group A winners New Zealand, who beat Indonesia 2-1.
The winner of the Asia/Oceania zonal final will advance to the World Group II playoff in April.
New Zealand’s doubles pairing of Marina Erakovic and Kairangi Vano secured their third successive win of the tournament by beating Ayu Fani Damayanti and Sandy Gumulya of Indonesia 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
Erakovic had earlier won her match 6-2, 6-4 over Gumulya and Di Hollands lost to Damayanti 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).
India, who finished last in Group A, and Taiwan, last in Group B, will play a relegation match today. The loser will drop to regional Group II in 2010.
STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA
With Lu Yen-hsun pulling out injured, Taiwan’s Chen Ti lost to Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin in the first singles match against Kazakhstan in Asia/Oceania Group I in Hsinchuang yesterday.
Chen, who sustained a stomach injury when he reached for a ball at 5-5 in the fourth set, lost to world No. 149 Kukushkin 7-6, 7-5, 1-6, 5-7, 4-6.
Jimmy Wang tied the match 1-1 against world No. 92 Andrey Golubev in the second singles match 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 .
In today’s doubles, Yang Tsung-Hua and Yi Chu-huan will play Alexey Kedryuk and Yuriy Schukin.
In tomorrow’s reverse singles, Chen will play Golubev, followed by Wang against Kukushkin.
Taiwan has won all three previous Davis Cup matches against Kazakhstan in 2000, 2003 and last year. Thee of the four Kazakhstan players this year are naturalized Russians.
AP, VINA DEL MAR, CHILE
Second-seeded Tommy Robredo moved into the quarter-finals of the ATP’s Movistar Open with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) win over Argentina’s Brian Dabul on Thursday.
That set up a last-eight clash against wild card Juan Iganacio Chela. The former highly ranked Argentine, on the comeback from a herniated disc, ousted compatriot Martin Vassallo Arguello 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).
Lucky loser Sebastian Decoud of Argentina, who only made it into the main draw when Alberto Martin withdrew with cramps, upset seventh-seeded Agustin Calleri 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 to reach his first ATP quarter-finals.
His opponent will be another Argentine, Jose Acasuso, who ousted Brazil’s Tomus Bellucci 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.
In the top half of the draw, the quarter-finals will see top-seeded local hope Fernando Gonzalez meet Argentina’s Juan Monaco and Chile’s Paul Capdeville take on qualifier Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.
■SA TENNIS OPEN
AP, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France reached the SA Tennis Open quarter-finals on Thursday by beating Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-1, 6-4.
Tsonga peppered his opponent with powerful serves and used deft slices and drop shots to reach his fourth consecutive quarter-final of the year.
The 14th-ranked Frenchman will next face sixth-seeded Kristof Vliegen of Belgium, who beat Ivo Minar 6-4, 6-1.