Bangkok: India’s decision to rest star player Sania Mirza in the opening match itself against Indonesia backfired as it lost 1-2 in the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I Federation Cup tournament here on Wednesday.
The Indians badly missed Sania’s firebrand tennis as other team members Shikha Uberoi and Sunitha Rao were found lacking at crucial junctures.
Although Shikha gave a positive start and 1-0 lead to India by winning the first singles match by defeating Ayu Fani Damayanti 6-4, 6-4, Sunitha could not keep the momentum going. Sandy Gumulya, who is 44 rungs below Sunitha in the WTA charts, levelled the scores by beating the Indian 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the second singles.
The Indian duo lost the deciding doubles tie 6-7(7), 6-1, 6-3 to lose the rubber.
In other Group 1 matches, Australia beat New Zealand 2-1, Thailand blanked Hong Kong 3-0 and Uzbekistan got the better of Chinese Taipei 2-1.
Group I: Australia bt New Zealand 2-1 [Casey Dellacqua bt Sacha Jones 4-6, 6-4, 4-1 (retd.); Alicia Molik lost to Marina Erakovic 6-6 (retd.); Rennae Stubbs & Dellacqua bt Erakovic & Leanne Baker 7-5, 6-2].
Indonesia bt India 2-1 [Ayu Fani Damayanti lost to Shikha Uberoi 6-4, 6-1; Sandy Gumulya bt Sunitha Rao 6-1, 3-6, 6-3; Damayanti & Gumulya bt Uberoi & Rao 6-7(7), 6-1, 6-3].
Thailand bt Hong Kong 3-0 [Nudnida Luangnam bt Yang Zi-jun 6-4, 7-5; Tamarine Tanasugarn bt Zhang Ling 6-3, 6-1; Suchanun Viratprasert & Napaporn Tongsalee bt Zhang Ling & Lam Po-kuen 7-5, 6-4].
Uzbekistan bt Chinese Taipei 2-1 [Iroda Tulyaganova bt Hsieh Su-wei 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3; Akgul Amanmuradova bt Chan Yung-jan 6-0, 6-2; Vlada Ekshibarova & Albina Khabibulina lost to Chan Yung-jan & Chuang Chia-jung 6-1, 7-5].
Group II: South Korea bt Syria 3-0 [Lee Jin-A bt Ranim Mkahal 6-1, 6-0; Lee Ye-Ra bt Line Al-Ghannam 6-1, 6-0; Kim So-Jung & Yu Min-Hwa bt Kim Sadi & Lara Alsamman 6-1, 6-0].
Kazakhstan bt Turkmenistan 3-0 [Madina Rakhim bt Anastasiya Prenko 6-1, 6-3; Valentina Starkova bt Jenneta Halliyeva 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-2; Amina Rakhim & Madina Rakhim bt Prenko & Ummarahmat Alisultanova 6-0, 6-0].
Singapore bt Sri Lanka 2-1 [Nilupul Goonasekera bt Vanessa Boey 6-2, 6-4; Amreetha Muttiah lost to Stefanie Tan 6-4, 7-6(2); Stefanie Tan & Vanessa Boey bt Amreetha Muttiah & Mahesha Seneviratne 7-5, 6-1. — Agencies