Despite helping to fill the breach left by their injured franchise player, Emma Hayman's New Zealand Federation Cup women's team did not earn promotion from Asia/ Oceania Group II at the weekend.
The Wanganui tennis standout had begun the tournament in Astana, Kazakhstan, as a doubles game specialist with national championship winning partner Abigail Guthrie.
However, after No1 player Marina Erakovic suffered a dislocated finger in a fall at the team hotel, Hayman took over the No2 singles position.
Despite New Zealand winning their final pool game against Singapore, their loss earlier in the tournament to Hong Kong came back to bite them.
Hong Kong advanced from their pool to the final with Indonesia, who ended up tournament champions and earned promotion to Asia/ Oceania Group I.
New Zealand had to settle for third overall in the 11-team competition, after they won their playoff with the Philippines.
Guthrie and Emily Fanning, who became No1 after Erakovic's departure, both won singles games. so another doubles match was not necessary.
Hayman and Guthrie were unbeaten as a doubles team in the tournament, as New Zealand won their ties with Vietnam, Singapore, Turkmenistan, and the Philippines with just the 2-1 loss to Hong Kong.
Stepping into the breach with Erakovic out, Hayman lost her Hong Kong singles game but rebounded to win her Turkmenistan singles match.
While the rest of the New Zealand team flew home yesterday, Hayman's expedition in Central Asia continues.
Hayman is going to stay in Astana for a week to train, before moving on to the city of Shymkent.
She will play in two WTA US$10,000 tournaments, before flying down to Sydney for another US$10,000 event.