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Thais stun Indonesians
By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
April 24 2003
The Nation

Thailand’s chances of earning a place in Saturday’s playoff moved a step closer after they stunned secondseeded Indonesia 30 in the third roundrobin competition of the Fed Cup Zone Asia/Oceania Qualifying Group I tie yesterday.

With Thai ambassador to Japan Kasit Piromya cheering them on, the Thai squad, who went into the match as underdogs against the Indonesians, turned the situation around in the first rubber with world No 322 Suchanan Viratprasert stunning world No 115 Wynne Prakusya 62 16 61 in a match interrupted by rain.

In the second rubber which featured long nailbiting rallies and high levels of tennis, Tamarine Tanasugarn narrowly edged out the persistent Angelique Widjaja 63 76 (72) in one hour and 38 minutes to give Thailand a surprise victory.

Indonesia withdrew from the doubles, giving Thailand the third point.

The Thai team has not been beaten after three days and tops Pool B. They are scheduled to play the unfancied Kazakhstan and Taiwan on Thursday and Friday and should go through to the playoff on Saturday.

“We came onto the court with a 5050 chance. I think the Indonesian team, especially Prakusya, was under pressure and didn’t play well, while Suchanan was very aggressive in the final set. For Tamarine, she is tough when playing without pressure and she controlled the situation well today,’’ said national coach Panomkorn Pladchuanil.

Suchanan was in top gear from the start, attacking tiny Indonesian Widjaja with her superb backhand and showing solid defence which forced errors from the opponent. She managed an early break in the third game to lead 21 and extended the advantage to 52 with another break in the seventh game.

Prakusya faced two set points in the eighth game, but got off the hook with an error from the Thai and a forehand winner down the line. But she faltered on the third set point, overhitting a backhand to lose the opener.

In the second set the Thai trailed 30 before rain interrupted play for almost two hours. When play resumed, the Indonesian dominated with aggressive groundstrokes to take the set 61 and level the match at 11.

Suchanan regained her composure in the decider and used her power to put pressure on her opponent. The Thai built a quick 40 lead, dropped her own serve in the next game but finally took two successive games to wrap up the encounter after Prakusya returned serve to the net.

“I tried not to think beyond the game. I was focussed on the first and final sets which were the key points of my victory,’’ said Suchanan after her best career victory.

Ranked No 32 in the world, Tamarine utilised her superior groundstrokes to comfortably take the first set 62, but the teenage Widjaja managed a comeback in the second set. She matched Tamarine’s fast baseline game shot for shot and mixed up a variety of shots to get out of trouble.

After trading long baseline strokes until the tiebreak, Tamarine came up with some astonishing winners and impressive serves to lead 52. She smashed into the corner to set up match point at 62 before Widjaja’s forehand passing shot sailed long to surrender the match.

“It was a tough match as we know each other’s game well. I just made her run and she hit everything back. I rushed a bit too much at the beginning of the second set but pulled myself together in the end,’’ said Tamarine, who now had a 21 record over the Indonesian.

“Now we stand a good chance of getting a place on Saturday. But we will not underestimate Kazakhstan and Taiwan. It’s not over till it’s over,’’ added the Thai star.
 

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No because Indonesia has Prakusya and Widjaja. Thailand really only has Tanasugarn (even if she is the best out of all the players there). You'd expect Prakusya to win singles, and Widjaja to have a good chance as well. Plus Prakusya reached the Championships last year in doubles, didn't she?
 

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Tammy is really lifting the thai team through ... she hasn't dropped a set.

It seems Suchanan is inspired...she is playing well this year. Tammy is too good for most of these girls. :rolleyes:
 
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