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Natalie backs youngsters

By Mark Etheridge

Top-ranked doubles player Natalie Grandin is confident her young team-mates will fly the flag in South Africa’s Fed Cup Euro-Africa clash in Egypt next week.

Grandin, 31, leads the squad named by captain John-Laffnie de Jager this week, after No1 singles player Chani Scheepers was not available.

Currently celebrating her highest doubles ranking of 23, Grandin’s vast experience will be a huge factor for her three team-mates, just over half her age!

Teeanagers Madrie Le Roux (16), Lynn Kiro (16) and Ilze Hattingh (15) make up the team for the Group Two match. The three, despite their tender years, are nevertheless all among the country’s top 10 ranked players.

Hattingh is fifth, Le Roux sixth and Kiro eighth, while Grandin is still our second ranked player.

The eight-team tournament will also feature Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Latvia, Montenegro, Norway and Turkey in the eight-team tournament.

After a round-robing format and play-offs two teams will earn promotion to the Euro-Africa Group One next year.

“Yes I suppose I am the head of a very young team and I’m sure it will be good,” Grandin, who has played Fed Cup almost every year since her late teens, told Road to London 2012. “The young girls have had some good results recently and I am sure we will do well.

“It is never easy playing four matches (two singles and a ‘dubs’) in four days and it is very draining.

“We played there last year and its not the easiest place to play. The clay courts are average and the organisation is not the best but we all know that so we dont expect much.”


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