Salsa Aher and Humera Shaik got India past Kazakhstan 2-1 in the play-off match for the ninth place in the Asia Oceania Junior Fed Cup tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Thursday.
After left-hander Salsa cruised past Takhmina Zhanatova for the loss of five games, the tall Humera had to really fight it out against Anastasia Astakhova after a humbling start. In the battle that lasted two hours and seven minutes, Humera prevailed 0-6, 7-5, 7-6(3).
Captain Arati Natekar fielded Salsa with Sai Dedeepya for the doubles and the Indian pair put up a good fight before being beaten in straight sets.
India will next play Korea. The winner will play the winner of the match between Indonesia and Malaysia for the ninth place.
Japan, Chinese Taipei, Australia and Thailand made it to the semifinals. The competition will continue to be intense among the top teams, as only the top three will make it to the World Group Finals to be staged in Budapest, Hungary, in September.
The results (play-off): India bt Kazakhstan 2-1 (Salsa Aher bt Takhmina Zhanatova 6-3, 6-2; Humera Shaik bt Anastasia Astakhova 0-6, 7-5, 7-6(3); Salsa Aher & Sai Dedeepya bt Kamilya Shalina & Takhmina Zhanatova 3-6, 5-7).
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