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.
Photo courtesy of the Siwei Foundation
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.
Photo courtesy of the Siwei Foundation
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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