Only Coetzer still missing
16/07/2003 19:24 - (SA)
Durban - With the exception of Amanda Coetzer, the South African Fed Cup team has finally assembled for their World Group playoff Fed Cup tie against the Czech Republic at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium this weekend.
The winner of this tie will be promoted to the World Group of the competition next year.
SA captain Mariaan de Swardt arrived on Wednesday afternoon, confident that they had enough practice time in hand, even though world number 15 Coetzer only arrives in town on Friday.
"The girls have been playing tournaments and have been practising regularly so with our session today and another couple on Thursday and Friday. I see no reason why the players will not be fully prepared for the tie," said De Swardt after taking Nathalie Grandin, Chani Scheepers, Nicole Rencken and Roxanne Clarke through their paces.
"Nathalie and Nicole come from Durban so they are familiar with the conditions and Chani has been working hard up in Pretoria."I know Amanda has commitments in Los Angeles this week and couldn't get in any earlier than Friday, but she will be fine, I'm sure."
Looking ahead to the tie, De Swardt believes her team has a good chance of shutting out the Czechs this weekend.
"They have three players in the top 100 but none in the top 20. They're all ranked from about 60 to 80 and players like Nathalie and Chani could beat them."
While Coetzer will obviously play the number one singles berth, it is very close between Grandin, ranked 173, and Scheepers, at 184, for the second singles berth.
"I'm not sure at this stage who I'll go with but it could perhaps be a slight advantage to play Nathalie because she is left-handed.
"But I haven't made any decision yet."
The draw for the tie will be made on Friday morning at 09:30.