Croatia win final promotion spot at Europe/Africa Group I15/04/2022 17:00
A pair of hard-fought victories for Petra Marcinko and Petra Martic saw Croatia defeat Serbia to finish third at the Billie Jean King Cup Europe/Africa Group I event and win a place in November's Play-offs
A pair of hard-fought victories for Petra Marcinko and Petra Martic saw Croatia defeat Serbia to finish third at the Billie Jean King Cup Europe/Africa Group I event and win a place in November's Play-offs.
Marcinko recorded a 6-1 2-6 6-0 win against Lola Radivojevic before Martic came from behind against Aleksandra Krunic, winning 4-6 7-5 6-4 in two hours and 17 minutes to secure the result for Croatia.
The Croatians will join Hungary and Slovenia - who finished first in Pool A and Pool B, respectively, this week - in November's Billie Jean King Cup Play-offs. Another win in November will see them through to next year's Qualifiers.
Hungary defeated Slovenia 2-1 in a play-off to be crowned the overall winners of the event, while Turkey's bid to end their week at home with a win was quashed by Austria, who recorded a 2-0 victory over the hosts in the 5th/6th play-off.
The play-offs to avoid relegation to Group II were hotly contested, with both ultimately being settled in decisive doubles matches. Both Sweden and Denmark were forced to dig deep after losing their opening matches, but both came through in the doubles in the end to defeat Estonia and Georgia, respectively.
All promotion and relegation issues had been settled at the Asia/Oceania Group I event prior to the final day on Saturday, but there was pride to play for among the six teams in the group. Japan topped the group after defeating China, P.R. 2-1, but the teams can both celebrate progression to the November's Play-offs, having won their four previous matches this week.
India defeated Korea, Republic 2-1 to finish in third place in the group, while New Zealand overcame Indonesia 2-1 in the clash between the two already-relegated teams.
In Salinas, Ecuador, the venue for Americas Group I, Argentina and Brazil both posted 2-0 victories Saturday's duels for promotion, and will advance to the Play-offs later in the year.
Argentina's Solana Sierra (world No. 648) and Maria Lourdes Carle (No. 247) both defeated higher-ranked opposition - No. 240 Marcela Zacarias and No. 171 Renata Zarazua, respectively - to secure their place in the Play-offs. But there were no upsets in Brazil's victory over Chile, with Laura Pigossi defeating Barbara Gatica before Beatriz Haddad Maia triumphed against Daniela Seguel.
In the relegation play-offs, Colombia consigned Paraguay to their fourth defeat of the week, securing Colombia's position in Group I again next year but sending Paraguay to Group II for the 2023 season. And hosts Ecuador will join them in Group II next year, after they fell to Guatemala in a decisive doubles match.