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For the first time in history, Luxembourg will organize a Fed Cup regional group phase.

From 6-9 February 2019, the Group II Europe/Africa encounters will be played at the national tennis centre in Esch/Alzette (also Mandy Minella's home city). 2 indoor courts for 2 pools of 4 teams (Luxembourg, Austria, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Israel, Portugal, South Africa, Tunisia, Moldova).

RTL.lu - Sport - Fed-Cup: Groussen Dammen-Tennis-Tournoi zu Esch an der Tennishal
 

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For the first time in history, Luxembourg will organize a Fed Cup regional group phase.

From 6-9 February 2019, the Group II Europe/Africa encounters will be played at the national tennis centre in Esch/Alzette (also Mandy Minella's home city). 2 indoor courts for 2 pools of 4 teams (Luxembourg, Austria, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Israel, Portugal, South Africa, Tunisia, Moldova).

RTL.lu - Sport - Fed-Cup: Groussen Dammen-Tennis-Tournoi zu Esch an der Tennishal
Article on rtl.lu with a video report and picture series on the Luxembourg Fed Cup team and the competition venue:

RTL.lu - Sport - FOTOEN a VIDEO: Fed Cup: D'Lëtzebuerger Damme freeë sech op de grousse Rendez-vous
 

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First day of Fed Cup Group II Europe/Africa.

Luxembourg d. South Africa 2/1

Eléonora Molinaro - Theresa Alison Van Zyl 6/1, 6/2
Mandy Minella - Chanel Simmonds 6/1, 6/1
Correia / Schaul - Le Roux / Simmonds 1/6, 2/6
 

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Luxembourg - Israel 2/0

Mandy Minella d. Darya Shvartsmann 6/2, 6/0

Eléonora Molinaro d. Maya Tahan 6/2, 6/0

I don't know if the doubles will still be played, but it's already certain that Luxembourg finishes first in Group B and will play Tunisia tomorrow for the play-off to advance to Europe/Africa Zone Group I in 2020.

This will be the first real challenge for Luxembourg.
 

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They did it!

Luxembourg - Tunisia 2/0

Molinaro d. Bechri 7/5, 6/2
Minella d. Jabeur 7/5, 6/1

A great performance especially from Mandy, who was down 3/5 in the first set, then dominated the top ranked player in this Fed Cup Group.
 

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25k Petange:

QR1:
(15)Ramirez def. Silbereisen 61 61
(12)Loliee def. Weckerle 16 64 11-9
(8)Sibille def. Veyder 61 60

R1:
Silbereisen/Pahlett vs. Koval/Shoshyna
Weckerle/Ryser vs. Hall/Sarcelet
 

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W25 Pétange doubles:

R1:

Koval/Shoshyna d. Silbereisen/Pahlett 6/1, 6/2
Weckerle/Ryser d. Hall/Sarcelet 6/0, 6/3 :)

(Eléonora Molinaro's results are posted in her own thread)
 

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Let's see what the luxembourg players will achieve this season. are there any young up and coming players besides eleonora?
 

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Marie Weckerle, 16yo
Interview (in luxembourgish) with Marie Weckerle, the start of an article series on her:




Summary:

Marie Weckerle comes from a tennis family. Her father is a licensed coach, her older brother plays too. She has always been among the best of her age group in Luxembourg. With the support of the national federation, she started playing international competitions at the age of 7. In summer 2018, when she was 14yo, she left the regular school to focus on tennis, but without neglecting her education.

She is now training at the Creps (Centre Fédéral de Tennis) in Reims, France ( www.creps-reims.fr ), and does her exams by correspondence. Mandy Minella and Gilles Muller also went there. She chose this over training facilities in Germany because the french school system is closer to the Luxembourg system.

In the morning, she has class then two hours of tennis training. After lunch, 90 minutes of group physical training and another tennis practice. Then an individual session in the fitness room and stretching. After dinner, until 20h, she is studying again. The players in the tennis program are checked by a doctor 2 or 3 times a week. She shares a room in the centre with another player.

No homesickness, as Marie was already used to being away from her family because of her frequent tournament trips. She also likes to travel. Reims is only 230km from Luxembourg, so she can visit her family almost every weekend.

Her Fed Cup selection last year was one of the most exciting moments of her career. She has been lucky not to have been injured so far.
 

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Fed Cup Europe/Africa Group I (Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg)

Luxembourg - Sweden 1/2

Molinaro - Larsson 0/6, 6/3, 6/1
Cornelius - Bjorklund 1/6, 3/6
Cornelius / Molinaro - Larsson / Lister 4/6, 1/6

Mandy Minella has withdrawn because of fever. Claudine Schaul, who is still a good doubles player, had withdrawn earlier, as she had injured herself during the national indoor championships.

So Luxembourg is now a one woman team and has almost no chance of staying in Group 1

Picture set: Fed Cup 1.Dag: Lëtzebuerg géint Schweden (5.2.2020)
 

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Luxembourg - Serbia 1/2

Correia - Danilovic 1/6, 2/6
Molinaro - Stojanovic 6/3, 6/3
Cornelius / Molinaro - Krunic / Stojanovic 4/6, 2/6
 

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Short TV news reports on the first two encounters:


 

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Luxembourg - Turkey 0/2

Tiffany Cornelius - Berfu Cengiz (WTA 419) 2/6, 2/6
Eléonora Molinaro - Pemra Özgen (WTA 209) 3/6, 2/6

Luxembourg is thereby relegated to Europe/Africa Group II.

Relegation was inevitable without Mandy Minella. It would have happened anyway next year, when Mandy will no longer play. It was great to see Eléonora beat two higher ranked players, but she alone can't keep the team in Group I
 
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