Japan edge Thailand in Junior Fed Cup qualifying final

KUALA LUMPUR: Underdogs Japan sealed their impressive run in the Junior Fed Cup regional qualifying zone tournament by beating Thailand 2-1 in the final at the National Tennis Sports Complex in Jalan Duta here yesterday. 

The unseeded Japanese, who eliminated top seeded Taiwan on Saturday to reach the final, continued their charge by coming from behind to clinch victory against the fourth seeded Thais. 

Thailand bagged the first point through Luangnam, who beat Megumi Fukui 6-2, 6-2. However, Mari Tanaka put Japan back into contention with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 win over Pichittra Thongdach. 

Megumi and Mari delivered the winning point for Japan. They beat Nudnida-Pichittra 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. 

Asia have four representatives in the final rounds of the Junior Fed Cup, which will be played in Germany from Sept 16-21. Besides Japan and Thailand, the other qualifiers are Taiwan and India. 

Meanwhile, Malaysia settled for eighth place in the 10-team qualifiers. In the playoff for seventh place, Malaysia were beaten 0-3 by New Zealand. 


Final: Japan bt Thailand 2-1 (Megumi Fukui lost to Nudnida Luangnam 2-6, 2-6; Mari Tanaka bt Pichittra Thongdach 6-2, 2-6, 6-4; Megumi Fukui-Mari Tanaka bt Nudnida Luangnam-Pichittra Thongdach 6-2, 4-6, 6-4). 

Third-place playoff: Taiwan bt India 2-1 (Lin Ting-yu lost to Sanaa Bhambri 2-6, 1-6; Hsu Wen-hsin bt Tara Iyer 6-1, 6-1; Hsu Wen-shin-Lin Ting-yu bt Kartiki Bhat-Sanaa Bhambri 6-2, 7-5). 

Fifth-place playoff: Indonesia bt South Korea 2-1 (Febri Joana Andriani lost to Byun Hye-mi 2-6, 1-6; Ayu Fani Damayanti bt Kim Hae-sung 6-1, 6-1; Febri Joane Andriani-Ayu Fani Damayanti bt Byun Hye-mi 6-1, 6-2). 

Seventh-place playoff: New Zealand bt Malaysia 3-0 (Brittany Teei bt Jasmine Tan 6-0, 6-2; Shona Lee bt Jawariah Noordin 6-3, 6-1; Ellen Barry-Shona Lee bt Jawariah Noordin-Norzafirah Taufek 7-5, 7-5). 

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