Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Chelmsford, Essex
It's being held in Pretoria, South Africa. Definitely outdoors, doesn't look like clay though, from the photos. Some kind of hard-court.
Here's the report from South Africa's win today. The full scores don't seem to be available yet, although the match winners are mentioned lower down.
SA Fed Cup team win tight encounter against Latvia
Posted at Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - 15:17
The South African Fed Cup team had to work hard to beat Latvia in their second round robin tie of the Euro/Africa Group 2 Fed Cup qualifying tie at the Groenkloof tennis courts on Wednesday.
After Chani Scheepers, who turned 18 last month, defeated Anete Bandere 6-2 6-1, SA number one Natalie Grandin lost 4-6 4-6 to the other Bandere sister, Katrina.
It all came down to the doubles rubber and Grandin was determined to get some revenge on the Bandere sisters. "Far from being flat after my loss I was quite psyched up to play the doubles. It was pay-back time," said Grandin.
She got her wish as she and Nannie de Villiers won the encounter 7-5 6-2 to ensure the third seeded SA team remain the leaders in Pool C. Algeria, who beat Liechtenstein 3-0, are joint second with Latvia.
The top two seeds, Great Britain and Denmark respectively, had byes on Wednesday but third seeds Ireland were very comfortable winners over Finland in Pool D. Also in that pool, sixth seeds Egypt scored a 3-0 victory over Botswana.
In Pool A Norway had a tough encounter against Malta before coming through 2-1 while in Pool B seventh seeds Lithuania swamped Tunisia 3-0.
Scheepers' mother Nikki, (nee Kruger) herself a national player, came all the way from Harrismith to watch her daughter play.
According to Chani's coach, Annette du Plooy, Nikki was not that keen to make the long trip to Pretoria. "But I told her you only play your first Fed Cup match once, and that she should be here to watch her daughter."
So Nikki was at court side but unfortunately she saw very little as tears streamed down her cheeks from the first ball.
Scheepers admitted she was tight at the beginning, however, she settled down after the third game. She had a protracted game at 2-2 in the first set but when the South African finally broke, it gave her the impetus she needed, and she lost just one more game in the entire match.
Grandin had the reverse problem against Katrina Bandere. At 2-1 in the first set the South African number one had three opportunities to break the Latvian's serve and failed to do so. That handed the momentum to Bandere and after taking the first set, the Latvian went up 5-2 in the second.
Grandin fought gallantly to get back to 4-5 and even had a point to level at 5-5. However, Bandere, who was starting to get more and more frustrated, finally closed it out with a forehand down the line.
"I wasn't very aggressive today but then she deserves credit for really letting me into the match. I didn't feel any pressure out there today, only the pressure I put on myself," said Grandin.
South Africa scored a 3-0 win over Liechtenstein on Tuesday and play Algeria in their final round robin tie on Thursday.
SA coach Mariaan de Swardt felt her team did their job well on Wednesday. "I always say to them that win or lose, all that matters is that you gave your all on court.
"Thursday's will be a tough tie and we must not take it for granted. We will need to come out and play our best tennis against Algeria."