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Oman finishes seventh in Fed Cup

Oman, led by Fatma al Nabhani, finished seventh in the ten-team Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group II women's tennis tournament, which concluded at the Shenzen Luohu Tennis Centre in Shenzen on Saturday.

Besides Fatma, the team comprised Maliha al Awaidy and Sarah al Balushi. The trio managed to secure two victories out of the five matches it played to equal its performance at the last Fed Cup.

Oman defeated Iran 2-1 in its final Pool B match to earn a playoff against Pakistan for seventh place. The sultanate side then beat Pakistan 2-1 to end its campaign with a win after successive defeats to the Philippines, India and Turkmenistan.

India beat Hong Kong 2-1 to confirm its promotion from the event to the next stage.

Oman started the tournament with a 2-1 defeat to Turkmenistan, with the result decided in the doubles rubber. Jenneta Halliyeva and Anastasiya Prenko came from a set down to beat Fatma and Sarah 5-7, 6-1, 6-1. Jenneta beat Sarah 6-2, 6-1 in the opening singles before Fatma levelled the score with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Anastasiya.

In the next match, India blanked Oman with Rutuja Bhosale beating Fatma 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 in one hour, 50 minutes. Isha Lakhani comfortably beat Maliha 6-1, 6-0 in the first rubber. Oman conceded a walkover in the doubles rubber.

The third defeat came at the hands of the Philippines. Tamitha Nguyen drubbed Maliha 6-0, 6-0 but world number 556 Fatma beat Anna Clarice Patrimonio 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 to level the tie. The doubles rubber was another one-sided affair, however, as Anna and Marian Jade Capadocia defeated Maliha and Fatma 6-0, 6-3.

However, Oman avoided a whitewash as it defeated Iran 2-1 in its final league engagement. Maliha lost the first singles to Madona Najarian 7-5, 6-0 but Fatma defeated Ghazaleh Torkaman 6-1, 6-0 and then teamed up with Sarah to beat the Iranian duo of Madona-Ghazaleh 6-1, 6-0.

In the playoff against Pakistan, Ushna Suhail beat Sarah 6-0, 6-0 but Fatma tied the score with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Saba Aziz. In the decider, Fatma and Sarah won 6-2, 7-6 against Sara Mansoor and Ushna.

Final positions: 1 India (promoted to Asia/Oceania Zone Group I); 2 Hong Kong; 3 Philippines; 4 Kyrgyzstan; 5 Turkmenistan; 6 Singapore; 7 Oman; 8 Pakistan; 9 Sri Lanka; 10 Iran.

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