Eilat, Israel - The ITF has announced the official draw for the Fed
Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group I event taking place from 3-6
The four day event will be played in Eilat, Israel at the Municipal
Tennis Centre there.
The fourteen nations contesting the Europe/Africa Zone Group I event are
Sweden, Portugal, Ukraine, Great Britain, Georgia, Croatia, Estonia, Israel,
Turkey, Hungary, Belgium, Bulgaria, Latvia and South Africa. All nations contesting the Zone Group I events will be
bidding to qualify for the Fed Cup World Group II play-offs on 16-17 April,
with two teams qualifying from the Europe/Africa Zone, and one team from both
the Americas and Asia/Oceania Zones.
South Africa have drawn second seeds Great Britain and Georgia in their
Pool B. South Africa will play Great Britain for their opening match on
Wednesday morning followed by unseeded Georgia Wednesday afternoon.
Britain who is captained by mother of Andy Murray, Judy confirmed Monday
that their star player Johanna Konta would miss the tournament due to an
intestinal issue. Konta was a surprise semi-finalist at last week’s Australian
Open where she lost to eventual winner Angelique Kerber. She also reached the
fourth round of last year’s US Open and is ranked 47 in the world. With Konta
out, the British side will be spearheaded by Heather Watson ranked 79 on the
Georgia’s players are ranked around the same as the South African
players on the world rankings but with the tournament being played on hard
court, team South Africa could have an advantage over their opponents who
prefer the slow clay.
Team Captain Earl Grainger said that his team faced a big challenge in
“Let’s not kid ourselves we are in a very tough tournament and have
drawn the second seeds in our opening pool. We were promoted last year largely
to the fact that Chani Scheepers made herself available for the team and not
losing a rubber. But with Chani retiring late last year we have no player in
the top 150 to lead our challenge. But we have a very competent and
enthusiastic team who are able to deliver so South Africa can be well assured
of our best efforts always.”
The draw conducted Monday is as follows;