China crush New Zealand 3-0 in Billie Jean King Cup women’s tennis

Vivian Yang, pictured in 2019, made her New Zealand Billie Jean King Cup debut against China.

David Joseph/Phototek

Vivian Yang, pictured in 2019, made her New Zealand Billie Jean King Cup debut against China.

China has beaten New Zealand 3-0 in the opening match of the Billie Jean King Cup women’s Asia Oceania Group 1 tournament in Turkey.

Teenager Vivian Yang, 17, was chosen ahead of Valentina Ivanov to make her debut for New Zealand in the opening singles rubber against Chinese number two Yue Yuan.

It looked like an inspired choice by captain Marina Erakovic as the young Kiwi impressed in the first set.

Yang had four set points at 5-4 in the first set, but couldn’t break the world number 143’s serve. Yuan completed a 7-5 6-2 win in one hour and 51 minutes.

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Kiwi No.1 Paige Hourigan lost the second singles rubber 6-4 6-0 in one hour, 21 minutes to Chinese No.1 Wang Qiang, ranked 97 in the world.

It was a good effort in the first set from Hourigan, who is ranked 462, before Wang got on top in the second set and dominated to clinch the tie.

New Zealand No.1 Paige Hourigan lost to China No.1 Wang Qiang in their Billie Jean King Cup contest.

Greg Bowker/Getty Images

New Zealand No.1 Paige Hourigan lost to China No.1 Wang Qiang in their Billie Jean King Cup contest.

Ivanov teamed up with Erin Routliffe for the dead doubles rubber against YiFan Xu and Zhaoxuan Yang, but after going up an early break in the first set were overwhelmed 6-3 6-1 in one hour four minutes.

In the other results Japan beat India 3-0 and South Korea beat Indonesia 3-0.

The top two teams at the six-nation tournament earn promotion with two teams remaining in Group 1 and two teams relegated to Asia Oceania Group 2.

New Zealand face South Korea on Thursday before playing Japan, Indonesia, and India.


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