India back to Group I after winning play-off tie | sports | Hindustan Times
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India back to Group I after winning play-off tie

sports Updated: Feb 06, 2010 18:29 IST

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Sania Mirza and veteran Rushmi Charavarthy registered contrasting singles victories as India blanked Kyrgyzstan 3-0 in the play-off tie to win back their place in the Asia/Oceania Group I of the Fed Cup tennis tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

India were relegated to Group II of the zonal competition last year after losing the play-off tie to Chinese Taipei.

With talented Poojashree Venkatesha suffering a knee injury ahead of the tie, Rushmi played the first singles against Bermet Duvanaeva.

The Indian faced stiff competition from Bermet before prevailing 6-4 1-6 6-3, to give India the lead.

The second singles was a cake walk for Sania, who cruised to a 6-0 6-2 win over Ksenia Palkina and clinched the only slot for promotion for her side.

Rushmi and Sanaa Bhambri were leading 6-0 1-0 when the the rival doubles pair of Bermet and Nelli Buyuklianova conceded the inconsequential rubber.

Last year India had not won a single match and this year the order reversed.

Coach Enrico Piperno was expectedly satisfied with the team's performance but said a stern test lies ahead.