Sat, Feb 06, 2016 - Page 20 News List

Taiwan rally to down South Korea

PLAYOFF HOPES:The win sees Taiwan advance to a final against Japan today, with the winner of that match sealing a spot in the World Group II playoffs in April

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei yesterday swings a two-handed backhand stroke at the FedCup in Hua Hin, Thailand.

Photo courtesy of the Siwei Foundation

Taiwan yesterday rallied from a 1-0 deficit to win their third straight Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group I round-robin match and finish top of Pool B in Hua Hin, Thailand, setting up a final against Japan today for a place in the World Group II playoffs in April.

Following their 2-1 victories over China and Kazakhstan earlier this week, Taiwan needed to beat bottom-of-the-pool South Korea to ensure they topped Pool B yesterday, but they did not get off to their customary good start.

World No. 156 Chang Kai-chen, who had won both of her previous singles rubbers at the tournament against higher-ranked opponents, suffered her first defeat, falling to a tight 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 loss to world No. 242 Han Na-lae in the first singles rubber at the True Arena Hua Hin.

However, world No. 82 Hsieh Su-wei bounced back from her defeat to Kakazhstan’s Zarina Diyas on Thursday to tie the match in the second singles rubber, defeating world No. 190 Jang Su-jeong 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 in 1 hour, 52 minutes.

Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh saved eight of 14 break points and converted eight of 12, winning 81 of the 150 points contested.

With China beating a second-string Kazakhstan 3-0 in their final pool match, Taiwan needed sisters Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan to win the deciding doubles rubber to ensure they would feature in today’s final.

The Chan sisters, 11th and 10th in the WTA Tour doubles rankings, duly completed a third straight 2-1 victory by downing Han and Jang 6-3, 7-5 in 1 hour, 43 minutes.

The Taiwanese duo saved six of eight break points and converted four of 11, winning 87 of the 157 points contested.

The victory saw Taiwan advance to a final today against Japan, who won Pool A after a 2-1 victory over hosts Thailand in their final round-robin match yesterday.

Taiwan will be confident they can upset favorites Japan, having advanced unbeaten from arguably the toughest of the two pools, and seal a spot in the World Group II playoffs in April.

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