WTA Tour

Fed Cup relief for SA

2013-04-21 14:59
John-Laffnie de Jager (File)

Johannesburg - The South African Fed Cup team breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday when they beat Estonia 2-1 to remain in Euro Africa Group Two for 2014.

The second-seeded South Africa team, made up of Chanel Simmonds, Natalie Grandin, Madrie le Roux and Lyn Kiro, made a slow start to the week, losing to Lithuania and hosts Montenegro 1-2.

The losses against both nations placed the South African team into the relegation zone matches.

On Thursday, South Africa beat Greece 2-1 to face Group A team Estonia for the final relegation match, which the South Africans won 2-1, to retaining their Group Two spot for next year.

South African team captain John-Laffnie de Jager said he was relieved after the victory, but said it had been a tough week of tennis in Ulcinj, Montenegro.

"We very happy with the win today and that we stayed in Group Two, but it was a disappointing week for us," he said.

"We came here to qualify and move up to Group One and we disappointed ourselves with our performances the first two days.

"It is always tough for our players to play on the clay because they have very little experience playing on it," he said.

"The two youngsters in the team Madrie Le Roux and Lynn Kiro really struggle on the clay. Madrie played well with Natalie in the doubles.

"The youngsters will have to step up next year, because I doubt at 33 years of age Natalie still wants to play singles.

De Jager said the team missed African Junior Champion Ilze Hattingh, who was forced to pull out on the eve of the tournament, as a result of a back injury.

"Ilze was supposed to play at No 2. Last year, at the age of 16, she only lost one match. Ilze was missed."

Read more on:    wta tour  |  fed cup  |  john-laffnie de jager  |  tennis
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