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India beat Philippines, Chinese Taipei
- Fed Cup
- Sania & Co. take on NZ today

New Delhi: India stamped their class as they swept aside Philippines and Chinese Taipei to top pool B in Fed Cup Asia-Oceania Zone qualifying tennis ties in Seoul on Thursday.

After Isha Lakhani and Ankita Bhambri won their singles for a 2-0 mowing of Philippines, Shikha Uberoi and Sania Mirza put it across Chinese Taipei by an identical scoreline in the second tie in group I.

India take on New Zealand in their final pool engagement on Friday and a win there would put them in the final on Saturday.

India had originally nominated Sania and Shikha to play against Philippines, but were forced to change the nominations after the tie was washed out by rain.

Yet, Isha and Ankita, ranked 364 and 338, respectively, proved to be too good for 16-year old Denise Dy and Czarina-Mae Arevalo.

Isha faced some late resistance by 1112th ranked Denise, before prevailing 6-0, 7-6 (7-3) to put India 1-0 up.

Ankita then grappled with some rough form on the slow outdoor hard courts for a 6-4, 6-7 (7-2), 6-2 win over Arevalo and double India’s lead.

Captain Enrico Piperno had preserved Sania, who was carrying multiple injuries including a hyperextension of the lower back, as also Shikha for the tie against Chinese Taipei.

That proved to be a right decision as both the Indians overcame a tougher examination to help India preserve their no-loss record in the tie.

Shikha, world No.183, bounced back from a first set deficit to beat Yung-Jan Chan (173) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the first singles.

Sania, the highest ranked Indian on the WTA tour, then subdued 128th ranked Su-Wei Hsieh 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in the second rubber. The last time the two girls met, in a junior event in 2001, Hsieh had prevailed 7-5, 3-6, 6-1. (PTI)

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