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Fed Cup: India suffer third defeat

February 06, 2009 19:50 IST

An Indian tennis team sans Sania Mirza completed a dubious hat-trick of defeats in the Fed Cup following a 0-3 loss to Uzbekistan in the Asia/Oceania Group I round-robin match in Perth on Friday.

As a result, the Indians will now play Chinese Taipei in the relegation play-off on Saturday.

With Friday's defeat, India finished last in the four-team Pool A, having also lost 0-3 in the earlier two matches -- against New Zealand and Indonesia -- as well.

Chinese Taipei ended up last in the four-team Pool B.

The losing nation will be relegated to the Asia/Oceania Zone Group II in 2010.

In the rubber against Uzbekistan, Sanaa Bhambri lost to Albina Khabibulina 1-6, 5-7 before sister Ankita went down 4-6, 4-6 to Akgul Amanmuradova.

The Uzbek duo of Vlada Ekshibarova and Alexandra Kolesnichenko then beat the Indian pair of Rushmi Chakravarthi and Ankita 6-2, 7-5 to complete the 3-0 rout at State Tennis Center.

The 0-3 rout by Uzbekistan meant that the Indian women, under captain Enrico Piperno, failed to win any rubber in the elite women's team event.

New Zealand and Australia topped Pool A and B respectively and will meet on Friday to decide who advances to the World Group II Play-offs in April.

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