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The New Zealand Fed Cup team were dealt a double blow when they suffered their first defeat of the Asia/Oceania Group II tennis tournament yesterday but they will be without No 1 Marina Erakovic for the rest of their campaign after she dislocated a thumb.
The world No 74 slipped on a hotel floor in the leadup to New Zealand's 2-1 defeat to Hong Kong and injured her thumb. She will return to New Zealand to receive treatment and faces a spell on the sidelines.
Emily Fanning took the top singles spot but lost to world No 357 Venise Chan 6-1 3-6 6-1 and Emma Hayman was beaten by Katherine Ip 6-2 6-2. Hayman and Abigail Guthrie won the doubles 7-6 6-4 over Chan and Ip.
New Zealand opened with a 3-0 defeat of Vietnam. They can still finish top of their pool of five teams if they win their remaining ties and Hong Kong slip up but that task will be infinitely more difficult without Erakovic.
The winners of the two pools meet in the final with the winning earning promotion to Asia/Oceania Group I for 2014.
Results of the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group II tennis tie between New Zealand and Hong Kong in Astana, Kazakhstan, yesterday: Katherine Ip (HK) bt Emma Hayman (NZL) 6-2 6-2, Venise Chan (HK) be Emily Fanning (NZL) 6-1 3-6 6-1, Abigail Guthrie/Emma Hayman (NZL) bt Chan/Ip (HK) 7-6(5) 6-4.