New Zealand Beat Pakistan in Fed Cup

Thursday, 06 February 2020

New Zealand has thumped Pakistan 3-0 in their second tie at the Asia Oceania Group 2 tournament in Wellington. Kiwi number one Paige Hourigan and Emily Fanning dropped just four games between them in singles romps before Erin Routliffe and Valentina Ivanov won the dead doubles rubber 6-1 6-0 over Mahim Qureshi and Ushma Suhail.

It’s the second straight 3-0 victory for captain Marina Erakovic and her players after an equally emphatic victory on Wednesday over Mongolia.

A similar result is expected tomorrow against Singapore who lost 2-1 to Mongolia today. It was Mongolia’s first ever win in the Fed Cup. Victory for New Zealand would set up a final against the Philippines on Saturday. The Philippines have stunned top seeds Thailand 2-1.

Emily Fanning kicked things off in blustery conditions with a 6-0 6-2 win over Pakistan number two Mahin Qureshi in 1 hour 02.

She started strongly and raced through the first set in just 28 minutes. Qureshi made a great start to the second set holding serve and then breaking Fanning in the second game. However, that spurred the Kiwi into action, and she regathered herself and won the next six games to clinch the match.

“I was a little bit more relaxed today and enjoyed it a bit more.” Fanning said.
“But it is never easy in these windy conditions.”

Paige Hourigan then dispatched Pakistan number one Satah Mahboob Khan 6-2 6-0 in just 55 minutes.

Hourigan who sat out the opening win over Mongolia was rusty early on and was broken twice in her first three service games. Bhut once she settled, she was in total control and cruised through the match winning 9 straight games from 3-2 in the first set.

“With this wind it’s hard to make things perfect but it was a good match and I am happy to get the win.” Hourigan said.

Routliffe and Ivanov were largely untroubled in the dead rubber doubles match although 18-year-old Ivanov had to save 5 break points in her first service game of the second set.

Captain Marina Erakovic may well experiment again with her line up against Singapore ahead of what looms as a crucial final day where New Zealand will look to book a place in Asia Oceania Group 1 for 2021.

“I think all the girls maintained a lot of focus and composure out on the court, so I am very happy.” Erakovic said.

“I told the players from the start there is no hierarchy for me, and I will see on the day who we have got, who is healthy and how everyone is feeling to make a call. But so far I am happy that everyone is playing really well.” Erakovic said.

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