KUALA LUMPUR: Both Japan and Thailand turned the formbook upside down to reach the final of the Junior Fed Cup regional qualifying zone at the National Tennis Sports Complex in Jalan Duta yesterday.
Unseeded Japan stopped the top ranked Taiwanese team with a 3-0 win while fourth seeds Thailand came from behind to beat second seeds India 2-1 in yesterdays semi-finals.
All the four semi-finalists had earlier ensured qualification for the final round of the Junior Fed Cup in Essen, Germany, this September.
Malaysia, meanwhile, can only hope to achieve a repeat of their previous best seventh place performance in Jakarta after crashing 0-3 to South Korea in the 5th-8th placing playoffs yesterday.
South Korea will face Indonesia in the 5th-6th placing playoffs today. Malaysia will have to beat New Zealand today to finish seventh.
Semi-finals: Thailand bt India 2-1 (Nudnida Luangnam lost to Sanna Bhambri 5-7, 6-7 (5); Pichittra Thongdach bt Tara Iyer 6-1, 6-3; Nudnida-Pichittra bt Kartiki Bhat-Sanaa Bhambri 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2); Japan bt Taiwan 3-0 (Megumi Fukui bt Lin Ting-yu 6-1, 6-2; Mari Tanaka bt Wen Hsu Hsin 6-3, 3-6, 6-1; Megumi-Erika Takao bt Ting-yu-Hsin-hsu 4-6, 6-2, 6-2).
5th-8th playoffs: South Korea bt Malaysia 3-0 (Lee Ya-re bt Jawariah Noordin 6-2, 6-1; Byun Hye-mi bt Norzafirah Taufek 6-0, 6-0; Byun Hye-mi-Kim Hae-sung bt Jasmine Tan-Norzafirah Taufek 6-0, 6-1); Indonesia bt New Zealand 2-1 (Lavinia Tananta lost to Ellen Barry 3-6, 3-6; Febri Joana bt Shona Lee 6-4, 6-3; Ayu Fani Damayanti-Febri Joana bt Ellen Barry-Brittany Tee 6-1, 6-2).