TOKYO: Asia's top two countries Japan and Indonesia underlined their better seeding against Thailand and China yesterday to make berths in the playoffs for the Fed Cup tennis World Group.
Japan's ace Ai Sugiyama emerged victorious in a battle of Asia's top two women against Tamarine Tanasugarn 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 for an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the best-of-three contest.
Angelique Widjaja and Wynne Prakusya stormed back from one set and 0-3 down to beat Li Ting and Sun Tiantian 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in the deciding doubles to give Indonesia a 2-1 victory over China.
"I'd like to thank this home crowd,” said Japan's captain Takeshi Koura.
“My players received their energy and they both came back from behind to win the two singles. With this win, we opened the door for the World Group.
"I hope we can play the playoff in July with these players improving one step better."
For Indonesia, it was sweet revenge for their loss to China last year to miss the ticket for the playoff after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) mistakenly matched them up with the Chinese.
The Indonesians were to play Japan without Sugiyama last year, but had to play home team China as the ITF set the finals between two top finishers of the preliminary groups, instead of runners-up of the opposite groups. – AFP