De Jager names young team

2012-04-10 12:18

Johannesburg - Captain John-Laffnie de Jager backed his young players after naming South Africa's team for next week's Fed Cup Euro-Africa group two tournament in Cairo, Egypt.

Experienced doubles specialist Natalie Grandin, 31, will spearhead the squad, named on Tuesday, in the absence of SA number one Chanelle Scheepers.

Grandin, ranked 23rd in the world as a doubles player, will be joined by teenagers Madrie le Roux (16), Lynn Kiro (16) and Ilze Hattingh (15).

Le Roux is rated outside the top 1 200 players in the world, while Kiro and Hattingh are not ranked by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

"I am excited for the young players in the team," De Jager said.

"They are our best juniors and still only 15 and 16 years old. This will be great for their tennis.

"With Natalie in the team they will have a great player to learn from.

"Natalie has been part of the Fed Cup team for many years and knows what it is to play for her country.

"She really has the gift to help and mentor young players.

"She has had a great 16 months on the WTA tour and her experience will be invaluable in Egypt."

South Africa will be joined by Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Latvia, Montenegro, Norway and Turkey in the eight-team tournament.

The countries will be divided in two pools in a round-robin format, followed by playoffs to determine which two teams will earn promotion to the Euro-Africa group one in 2013.