Japan promoted in Fed Cup


Japan earned promotion to World Group II in the Fed Cup after ace Ayumi Morita coasted to victory for an insurmountable lead over Argentina in a play-off tie on Sunday. After the hosts took a 2-0 lead on Saturday, the 23-year-old Morita whipped Aranza Salut, who replaced the out-of-form Maria Irigoyen, 6-2, 6-1 in the best-of-five contest.
The fourth singles match was cancelled due to a government initiative to conserve energy in Japan, while Rika Fujiwara and Kurumi Nara defeated Mailen Auroux and Maria Irigoyen 6-1, 6-3 to complete a 4-0 scoreline. “As the team ace I wanted to try and finish it off for us today. My opponent’s serve and forehand were good, but I was confident in my play,” said Morita. “I’m sure next year the matches will be tough in the World Group II. Both me and my teammates will have to improve our skills and rankings.”
Salut added: “It was a tough match. She is ranked much higher than me and is more experienced. I really understand from this match that I need more experience.” “The combination of her flat shots and speed make it very difficult for me,” added Salut, ranked 336th. On Saturday on the indoor hard court in the city of Kobe, up-and-coming Misaki Doi, who reached the third round at Wimbledon at her first attempt, whitewashed Irigoyen 6-0, 6-0 in the opener to give Japan the perfect start. Morita, ranked 47th in the world, followed her with a solid 6-2, 6-3 victory over Mailen Auroux in the second singles. Japan are promoted along with Belarus, Slovenia and Switzerland. The play-off was originally scheduled for April but the earthquake and tsunami and ensuing nuclear emergency in northern Japan forced its postponement.