Australia through to World Group II playoff
PERTH: Jelena Dokic and Samantha Stosur had straight-set singles wins Saturday to lead Australia past New Zealand and into April''s Fed Cup World Group II playoff.
Dokic, who advanced to the quarterfinals at last week''s Australian Open, beat Diane Hollands of New Zealand 6-4, 6-4. Dokic trailed 3-0 in the first set and 2-0 in the second. Stosur then clinched the Asia/Oceania Zone I playoff promotion match for Australia with a 6-1, 6-4 win over New Zealand No.1 Marina Erakovic. Stosur is ranked No. 43 and Erakovic 57th.
Erakovic and Kairangi Vano played Australia''s Casey Dellacqua andRennae Stubbs in a later doubles match. ``I am happy with the way I have handled matches mentally this week,'''' Dokic said. ``I didn''t play well (today) but you have to win even if you don''t play well. I won the key points so I am happy with that.''''
Dokic has a 12-2 singles record playing Fed Cup for Australia and won all three of her matches in Perth this week. Australia has beaten New Zealand five times in a row in Fed Cup play since 1965. The Australians reached the Group I final with three 3-0 wins, dropping only one set in leading Pool B. New Zealand beat Indonesia 2-1 on Friday to top Pool A.