NZ clinch promotion to Asia Oceania Group 1 of Fed Cup
For the first time in more than a decade New Zealand will play in Asia Oceania Group 1 of the Fed Cup. Valentina Ivanov and Paige Hourigan won the two singles rubbers to give New Zealand an unassailable 2-0 lead over the Philippines who won the dead doubles rubber with New Zealand winning the Asia Oceania Group 2 promotional playoff 2-1.
Kiwi number one Hourigan overcame Philippines number one Marian Jade Capadocia 6-2 6-3 in the second singles rubber after Valentina Ivanov had given the Kiwis a winning start with a 7-5 6-1 win over Philippines number two Shira Hope Rivera.
The Philippines duo of Capadocia and Rivera then inflicted the first defeat of the tournament on New Zealand, beating the pair of Emily Fanning and Kelly Southwood 6-3 4-6, (11-9) in the match tie break.
Earlier Hourigan powered through the first set after a tentative start. The second set was closer with a service break a piece early before Hourigan got what proved to be the decisive service break in the 5th game. The Kiwi closed out the match with her fifth match point to complete the win in 1 hour and 08.
Earlier 18-year-old Ivanov had to work hard for her straight sets win after squandering a 5-2 first set lead. However, she regathered her composure at 5-5 and after taking the first set completed a comfortable win in the second set.
Ivanov converted 5 of her 12 break point chances while Rivera broke twice from four chances with the match taking 1 hour 22.
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