Thailand will be relegated to Fed Cup Zone Asia/Oceania Qualifying Group II for the first time in the history after they lost the group I play-off to Indonesia 1-2 in Astana on Saturday.
The Kingdom lost the first rubber when Nudnida Luangnam went down to Asian Games mixed doubles gold medalist Sutjiadi Aldila 3-6 6-0 7-6 (7-5). The Thai veteran had never lost to the Indonesian before in their two previous meets ahead of the Fed Cup encounter.
Thailand however managed to win the next rubber after the 297th-ranked Peangtarn Plipuech rallied back to beat Beatrice Gumulya 5-7 6-4 6-4.
However, Thailand finally surrendered in the decisive doubles when Nudnida and Peangtarn lost to Jessy Rompies and Aldila 6-2 7-6 (7-3).
For the first time since 1976, Thailand will fall to zonal group II next year. Thai captain Vittaya Samrej however believed his side will fight back to return to group I in 2020.
“It’s not unexpected that Indonesia beat us as they have better doubles team. Our players have already tried their best. However I believe we will win group II tie next year and come back to group I,” the Thai skipper said.