Tennis: New Zealand Junior team books Fed Cup world finals spot

The New Zealand Junior Fed Cup tennis team (16U) has booked a place in the world finals after they scored a good win over China to make the top four of the Asia-Oceania Qualifying in New Delhi.

The victory over China gives them a top four spot and a guaranteed coveted place in the top 16 ITF Junior Fed Cup World Finals in Budapest, Hungary later in the year.

The team of Christchurch born, but Sydney-based 15-year-old Valentina Ivanov, Nina Paripovich, 16 from the Waikato and Wellington's Tamara Anderson aged 15, with coach Marcel Vos showed plenty of determination to make the semis in conditions where the temperatures have at times been well over 40 degrees.

New Zealand finish second in its group beating Malaysia 3-0 and Kazakhstan2-1 before losing to tournament top seeds Japan 0-3. However in the top eight playoffs the Kiwi side defeated fifth seeds China 2-1. Paripovich lost her singles in straight sets, but Ivanov won her top singles contest in three sets before the pair combined to take the doubles in a match tiebreak 10-7.

In the semifinal they narrowly lost to Thailand 1-2, but only by the narrowest of margins. Paripovich won her match in straight sets, while Ivanov was beaten 4-6 4-6 and the doubles saw Ivanov and Paripovich beaten 10-8 in the match tiebreak.

New Zealand will now play India for third and fourth and will finish the tournament ahead of nations such as Australia, China and Korea.

- NZ Herald

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