Photo: Dr Wee Thian YewShu Yue Ma (CHN)
It was semifinals day today at the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Final Qualifying event, with top seeds Australia facing off against fourth seeds Japan and fifth seeds China taking on sixth seeds Thailand.
On the show court of the Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association Thailand battled against China in the first semifinals. Thailand's Manita Bootsarakomvisit who, until now, had not lost a singles rubber suffered a straight sets defeat to Shu Yue Ma. Ma dominated and cruised the first set 60 before Bootsarakomvisit upped her game to challenge the hard hitting Ma. However Ma only raised the bar further to secure a 60 75 win for the fifth seeds.
Wu Shuang Zheng (CHN) then battled from a set down against Bunyawi Thamchaiwat to clinch victory for the fifth seeds and book them a place in tomorrow’s final.
On the adjacent court Kimberly Birrell was first to step on court for top seeds Australia, taking on Japan’s Mokomo Kobori. Kobori fought back from a set down to take the first point for Japan with a 67(9) 63 62 win. Next up was Priscilla Hon, knowing that she needed a win to keep their hopes alive of a place in tomorrow’s final. Hon cruised to a straight sets win against Chirizo Muramatsu, posting a 62 61 victory to force the deciding doubles. Hon then teamed up with Maddison Inglis to take on the Japanese duo of Kobori and Muramatsu and it was the Aussies who came out on top in a closely fought three set battle, 61 36 62, to secure their place in tomorrow’s final against China.
Meanwhile on courts 1 and 3 there was a battle to avoid relegation in the 13th-16th playoff as hosts Malaysia took on Singapore and Hong Kong faced Sri Lanka. The bottom two teams at this week’s Final Qualifying event will be relegated to the pre-qualifying in next year’s competition, so it was all to play for.
Hosts Malaysia won their first tie of the week as they defeated Singapore 3-0. Singapore will therefore play in the pre-qualifying event next year.
Hong Kong and Sri Lanka were level after the singles so the deciding doubles was played. The duo of Hei Ching Claudia Ng and Wing Kiu Lam out-rallied Medhira Samarasinghe and Nathmie Waduge to give Hong Kong a 63 61 win and assure them a place at the Final Qualifying event next year. Sri Lanka will join Singapore at the pre-qualifying event.
For full results and draws click here