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Rediff.com  » Sports » Fed Cup: Sizzling Sania leads India to Asia/Oceania Group triumph

Fed Cup: Sizzling Sania leads India to Asia/Oceania Group triumph

Last updated on: April 18, 2015 23:47 IST

Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza, right, with Prarthana Thombare during the Fed Cup. Photograph: PTI

Indian captain Sania Mirza led from the front as the hosts registered a 2-1 victory over Philippines in the final of the Asia/Oceania group II of the Fed Cup tennis tournament in Hyderabad on Saturday.

India's Prarthana G Thombare defeated Anna Clarice Patrimonio 6-3, 6-1 in the first singles match of the However Ankita Raina was defeated by Katharina Lehnert 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the second singles match.

Sania, who joined the campaign in the doubles match, showed a glimpse of her brilliance by securing a 6-3, 6-3 win for India in the company of Thombare. India now move to the Asia/Oceania Zone group l in 2016.

Courageous Hingis loses

Martina Hingis of Switzerland

Martina Hingis of Switzerland reacts. Photograph: Patrick Scala/Getty Images

Fifteen-time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis made a courageously impressive return to big-time singles tennis in the Fed Cup on Saturday but was eventually outplayed by Agnieszka Radwanska.

Hingis was persuaded to play her first tour-level singles for nearly eight years because of injuries in the Switzerland team for the World Group playoff encounter against Poland.

The 34-year-old brought back memories of her heyday in a thrilling 48-minute first set before capitulating 6-4, 6-0 to World No 9 Radwanska after 76 enjoyable minutes.

Smiling a lot and clearly enjoying the experience of being back in the spotlight against a player with a similarly attractive style, Hingis played some exhilarating tennis early on but her effort eventually took its toll.

Half a step slower in the second set, she could only win 11 points as Radwanska upped her game to give Poland a 1-0 lead in the tie.

What was most eye-catching was the way Hingis fought in the opening set, twice coming back from a break down to level the scores until the pressure exerted by Radwanska finally told.

Hingis, who only plays doubles on tour those days, was making a Fed Cup return for the first time since the 1998 final because she has to play in the competition to qualify for next year's Olympics.

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