WTA Tour

Scheepers boosts SA Fed Cup

2015-01-28 14:33
Chanelle Scheepers (AFP)

Johannesburg - Emboldened by the return of Chanelle Scheepers, coach Earl Grainger says the South African Fed Cup team will gain promotion to group one.

"I have a lot of confidence in this team. I think we are better prepared than we were last year," he said in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"I have the right team out this time. We have what it takes to gain promotion. We have the quality and I have all the confidence that it will be a successful trip."

The 51st-ranked South Africans are set to contest the international tournament in Estonia from February 4-7.

In their group they are up against the hosts Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Slovenia and Egypt.

Grainger said the return of Scheepers - the country’s top women's player - after a 10 year absence would bolster his team’s hopes.

"With Chani in the team, we will be strong in the singles and the doubles as well. It will be tough being away from home and playing against top foreign position.

"But of course we are all about the team and it's not just about Chani. We have a talented group of ladies who are hungry and eager to show what they are made of."

Scheepers, joined by Chanel Simmonds, Ilze Hattingh and Michelle Sammons in the South Africans team, were looking to be promoted from the Euro/Africa group two, to the top group.

Having failed in their prior attempts to gain promotion, the South Africans were more optimistic than ever and determined to put up a good showing, Grainger said.

Having already analysed their competition, he expected their most difficult opponents to be hosts Estonia and Lithuania.

It was expected that Scheepers and Simmonds would slug it out in the singles competition, while Hattingh and Sammons would contest the doubles.

Having recently been named Davis Cup captain as well, after the surprise resignation of John-Laffnie de Jager, an unfazed Grainger said he was up for the added challenge.

"My coaching approach will be different when I work with the Davis Cup team. It's a privilege and an honour for me. I have been encouraged by all the support and will do my best."

Read more on:    wta tour  |  fed cup  |  chanelle scheepers  |  tennis

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