Spain secured their Fed Cup World Group II status with a clean sweep of Paraguay in Murcia to ensure that next year Anabel Medina’s team will have the opportunity to play for a place in the elite World Group, the highest level of national team tennis.
Garbiñe Muguruza won the decisive point against the visitors on Sunday, the world number three seeing off Verónica Cepede, ranked 86, in straight sets.
Muguruza made to work for victory
The relative ease of Muguruza’s victory was in contrast to her first game against the world number 334, Montserrat González, who took the Wimbledon champion to three sets in windy conditions in La Manga on Saturday. However, Muguruza pulled through 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to hand Spain a 2-0 lead after Carla Suárez, the world number 25, had made light work of Cepede in the opening game with a 6-2, 6-2 victory.
Even so, the 2016 French Open champion had to come from 4-1 down in the first set. "I was able to turn it around and win the game, so I'm very happy," Muguruza said courtside.
Spain will now go into the World Group II first round in 2019, where if victorious they will have the opportunity to play for a place in the top tier later that year.
In the first round this year, Spain lost out 3-2 to Italy, with the tie decided in the final doubles match in Chieti, leaving Medina's side facing the prospect of slipping into the regional groups for next season if beaten by Paraguay.