Poland’s Fed Cup collapse that started last year is now complete, as the Poles were stunned at home on Sunday by Chinese Taipei, who won all three remaining rubbers to blow out the Poles 4-1 and send the hosts back to the Europe-Africa zone. There was very little between the two sides in both singles rubbers, but the Taiwanese players won the key points, clinching the tie after winning both singles rubbers. They added a win in the doubles to complete the upset.
Lee comes back to win epic
Hoping for a better performance than on day one, Poland’s Paula Kania got off to a dream start in the opening singles rubber, breaking Ya-Hsuan Lee in the opening game of the match and racing through the opening set with another break to claim the first set. It would not take long for the Taiwanese number one to get back in the match, as she broke early in the second set and never relinquished the lead, holding on to force a third set.
The third set would prove to be a back and forth affair. The pair exchanged two breaks each in the first ten games before finally Lee seemed to have a decisive break and a chance to serve out the match at 6-5, courtesy of a Kania double fault. However, the Taiwanese failed to convert a match point and was soon broken. The next time she served, she was down 6-7 and was forced to save match points. She survived, fought back immediately to break Kania and the second time she served for the match, Lee made no mistake and she served it out for the epic 2-6, 6-3, 9-7 victory and a 2-1 lead for Chinese Taipei.
Hsu clinches upset
On day one, Chinese Taipei had grabbed an early lead, but Magdalena Frech kept the Poles in it. The hosts needed the youngster to repeat the feat on Sunday. However, it was Ching-Wen Hsu who got the better start, breaking Frech twice in the opening frame and not allowing the young Pole a single opportunity to break back to claim the opener.
Frech was not deterred, and battled back in a wild second set. Both women broke serve more than they held, but when the dust settled, the Pole had four breaks to her opponents three, which was enough to give her the second set and force another decider. The third set followed a similar script, only with the roles reversed. Frech was clearly running out of gas in her second three-setter in as many days and was broken three times in the decider. Hsu managed to limit her young opponent to only two breaks in the final frame and claimed a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory to clinch the shocking upset for Chinese Taipei, who now led 3-1.
Chan and Chuang complete dream weekend
The doubles rubber was merely a formality as Chinese Taipei had already clinched the tie, and with nothing to lose, the dream weekend would be completed by the visitors, as Chin-Wei Chan and Chia-Jung Chuang cruised past the Polish doubles team of Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Katarzyna Kawa to complete the Sunday sweep. The Taiwanese cruised through the opening set, but required a tiebreak to close out the match in the second. However, the Poles barely mounted a challenge at the end, with Chan and Chuang dominating the tiebreak for the 6-2, 7-6(1) victory.
The Poles clearly suffered without their top two singles players, Agnieszka Radwanska and Magda Linette, and Chinese Taipei took advantage. The Taiwanese team will make their World Group II debut in 2017. Poland has now lost four Fed Cup ties in a row and is without a win since earning promotion to the World Group I at the end of 2014. They will play in the Europe/Africa zone next year.