Any New Zealand hope of Fed Cup tennis promotion has been squashed by top seeds Uzbekistan at the Asia Oceania group two tournament in Bahrain.
The Kiwi women's team crashed to a 3-0 loss on Thursday, leaving them second in their group after opening with victory over Lebanon.
With only the top teams advancing to the semi-finals, New Zealand are left to play off for fifth to eighth, starting with a rubber against Pakistan on Friday.
All three matches were similar, with tight first sets lost 7-5 before the higher-ranked Uzbekistan players took control.
Kiwi No.2 Jade Lewis lost the opener 7-5 6-3 to Nigina Abduraimova after squandering a 4-2 lead in the first set.
No.1 Erin Routliffe went down 7-5 6-1 to Sabina Sharipova, a player ranked 194, more than 400 places above the Kiwi.
Emily Fanning and Katherine Westbury teamed up for the dead rubber doubles match and were beaten 7-5 6-1 by Akgul Amanmuradova and Yasmina Karimjanova.
New Zealand captain Neil Carter said New Zealand had their chances and would learn from their inability to capitalise.
"The girls are gutted, really gutted at the end of the day which is what I want to see, because it hurts," Carter said.
"They've got to learn to really step up in those type of matches."