For the first time in 10 years New Zealand will play in Asia Oceania Group 1 of the Fed Cup.

Valentina Ivanov and Paige Hourigan won the two singles rubbers to put New Zealand 2-0 up over the Philippines in the Group 2 final in Wellington, with only the dead rubber doubles to come.

Kiwi number one Hourigan beat her Philippines counterpart Marian Jade Capadocia 6-2 6-3 in the second singles rubber after Valentina Ivanov had given the Kiwis a winning start with a 7-5 6-1 win over Philippines number two Shira Hope Rivera.

Hourigan powered through the first set after a tentative start. The second set was closer with a service break a piece early before Hourigan got what proved to be the decisive service break in the fifth game.


The Kiwi closed out the match with her fifth match point to complete the win in 68 minutes.

Earlier 18-year-old Ivanov had to work hard for her straight sets win after squandering a 5-2 first set lead. However, she regathered her composure at 5-5 and after taking the first frame completed a comfortable win in the second set.

Ivanov converted five of her 12 break point chances while Rivera broke twice from four chances with the match lasting 82 minutes.