Taiwan beat India 2-1 in Nonthaburi, Thailand, yesterday to relegate the South Asian nation to Asia/Oceania Fed Cup Qualifying Group II next year.
Taiwan were missing their top two ranked singles players, Chan Yung-jan and Chiang Kai-chen, plus doubles specialists Chuang Chia-jung and Hsieh Su-wei, but world No. 896 Juan Ting-fei beat Ashvarya Shrivastava — ranked 90 places above her — 6-3, 6-3 in the first singles match before Chan Chin-wei secured Taiwan’s Asia/Oceania Qualifying Group I place by defeating Poojashree Venkatesha 7-5, 6-1 in the second singles contest.
Shrivastava and Rushmi Chakravarthi earned a consolation 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 (5) win for India — who were without star player Sania Mirza — over Juan and Miao Yu-Lynn in the doubles.
Meanwhile, second-seeded Japan beat Uzbekistan 3-0 to reserve a slot in the Fed Cup World Group II Playoffs in April.
Japan’s victory in yesterday’s promotional playoff for Asia/Oceania Qualifying Group I marked the second year in a row the team has moved up a stage.
In the Group II playoff, Indonesia beat Hong Kong 2-1 to be promoted to Group I next year.
The 109th-ranked Junri Namigata of Japan struck first blood at the LTAT National Tennis Development Center by rallying back from 2-4 in the second set to beat Uzbekistan’s Sabina Sharipova 6-4, 7-5.
Ayumi Morita, ranked 58th, the highest among all the tournament’s competitors, then toppled Albina Khabibulina 6-4, 6-1.
In the doubles, Morita teamed up with Rika Fujiwara against Albina Khabibulina and Nigina Abduraimova to nail the third point for Japan when Abduraimova retired with an injury to her right shoulder after four games.
“I’m very happy that my team won and I could win my matches both in singles and doubles. I’ve been playing very well this week without losing,” Morita said.
Meanwhile, Flavia Pennetta won a tight match with Sam Stosur to draw defending champions Italy level with Australia at 1-1 after yesterday’s opening singles in their Fed Cup World Group clash.
Jarmila Groth gave Australia a surprise 1-0 lead by beating French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3, but Pennetta responded by causing an upset of her own, edging No. 5-ranked Sam Stosur 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 6-4.
Additional reporting by staff writer