Fed Cup: Sania-Thombare downed by Japanese pair

The Asian Games bronze medallists Sania and Prarthana Thombare could not weave any magic against Eri Hozumi and Shuko Aoyama who won the decisive rubber 7-5, 6-3.

Asian Games Bronze medallists Sania Mirza (left) and Prarthana Thombare could not get past their Japanese opponents. (File photo)   -  PTI

World No.1 doubles star Sania Mirza’s winning streak was checked much to the advantage of Japan in the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania group -1 tennis competition in Hua Hin, Thailand, on Thursday.

After Ankita Raina had triggered hopes by beating world No. 56 Nao Hibino in straight sets in the second singles, the Asian Games bronze medallists Sania and Prarthana Thombare could not weave any magic against Eri Hozumi and Shuko Aoyama who won the decisive rubber 7-5, 6-3.

Eri Hozumi had won the first singles easily against Prarthana, and thus Japan revived its hopes after having been tamed by Uzbekistan in the first match.

The Indian team, without the services of Sania, who flew into Thailand and negotiated a long drive from Bangkok in the morning on Wednesday, had gone down fighting to Thailand in the first match of the league. It will play Uzbekistan on Friday.

In the other pool, Chinese Taipei had won both its matches, while China and Kazakhstan had won their matches against Korea. While the toppers of the two groups will play to decide the team reaching the World group-II play-off, the bottom placed teams in the two groups will fight to decide the team to be relegated to Asia-Oceania group-II.

Results (league):-

Japan bt India 2-1 (Eri Hozumi bt Prarthana Thombare 6-2, 6-1; Nao Hibino lost to Ankita Raina 3-6, 1-6; Shuko Aoyama & Eri Hozumi bt Sania Mirza & Prarthana Thombare 7-5, 6-3).

Thailand bt India 3-0 (Bunyawi Thamchaiwat bt Prerna Bhambri 6-2, 7-5; Luksika Kumkhum bt Ankita Raina 7-6(5), 6-3; Kamonwan Buayam & Peangtarn Plipuech bt Prerna Bhabri & Prarthana Thombare 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-4).

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