No NZ yet again
No Fed Cup again for New Zealand's Marina Erakovic and rising young guns
Tennis New Zealand hasn't entered a team to play in the Fed Cup for the second straight year.
While the likes of Bahrain, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pacific Oceania, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan will all play in the Asia/ Oceania group II tie in Thailand in April, New Zealand will be missing.
Tennis NZ CEO Steve Johns admitted they wouldn't have been able to field a team that had a realistic chance of gaining promotion.
"It came down to our ability to put together a credible team that would compete with distinction," Johns said.
In 2011 New Zealand pulled out of the tournament at late notice when Marina Erakovic decided to play a WTA tournament instead and Sacha Jones was injured.
Because of this, New Zealand, who were world quarterfinalists in 1965 and 1971, was given a one-year ban and automatically relegated into group II by the International Tennis Federation.
New Zealand competed in 2013 and 2014.
Last month Erakovic, who with 18 wins has more Fed Cup singles victories than any other New Zealand player, was asked if she was keen on playing.
"I'm definitely available to play but is there a team?" Erakovic said.
"That's their (Tennis NZ's) department, to see the talent and who to send."
The inability to field a team highlights the state of women's tennis in New Zealand.
There are only two New Zealand women players with world rankings, Erakovic at 141 and Claudia Williams at 1182.
In the juniors, there's Jade Lewis at 60 and Rosie Cheng at 291. Tennis NZ are pinning hopes on 14-year-old Australian based Valentina Ivanov, who is one of three players in their elite targeted athletes programme.
Cheng and Lewis will be 18 next year and look to have bright futures ahead of them. Lewis is likely to go on to the women's circuit, and Cheng is heading down the US college path.
"It would be our preference to put a team in each year," Johns said.
"The depth of the women's game isn't strong.
"I'd like to think it's not too far before we can start putting a team together we know can go into the competition and perform with distinction."
No Fed Cup again for New Zealand's Marina Erakovic and rising young guns | Stuff.co.nz