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Chani’s back in the Fed Cup fray as SA head for Estonia
- Updated: January 14, 2015
South Africa’s top-ranked women’s player, Chani Scheepers makes her first appearance in 10 years for the country’s Fed Cup team next month.
Tennis South Africa announced their strongest possible team for the Euro/Africa Group 2 tie from 4-7 February 2015 in Tallinn, Estonia.
South Africa will face the hosts as well as Bosnia Herzegovina, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Egypt and Slovenia in the round-robin competition to be played at the Tere Tenniscentre.
The team, to be known as the KIA SA Fed Cup Team, will be supported by KIA Motors South Africa.
‘KIA is excited to be part of the Fed Cup team set up and to facilitate their efforts to progress through the groups to a level that does justice to the talent we have in South Africa,’ commented David Sieff, KIA South Africa Marketing Director. ‘We are also excited to have Chani spearheading the SA attack, and we wish the team every success on the tour.’
Scheepers achieved a career-high singles ranking of 37 in 2011 when she won the WTA title in Guangzhou, China. However she has slipped down the WTA rankings and is currently ranked 77 in the world.
‘I’m so happy to be able to join the team again,’ said Scheepers. ‘I love representing South Africa when I play around the world and it’s even more exciting to be able to do that in a team format with great young players coming up’.
South African captain Earl Grainger named Chanel Simmonds, Ilze Hattingh, and Michelle Sammons as the three other players to join Scheepers.
‘I am delighted that Chani made herself available to play for South Africa. She is a great player and will bring so much respect and experience to the South African team,’ said Grainger.
Last year South Africa failed to gain promotion to Euro/Africa Group 1 during their Fed Cup in Lithuania. With Scheepers in the side, Grainger believes that the team have a good chance of gaining promotion this year.
‘Without doubt Chani will give us our best chance of promotion,’ said Grainger. ‘With her vast experience, we know that our chances are the best ever and, with her as part of the team, my options of selection as Coach are greater.’
The team have a pre-departure camp from 28 January at the Bedfordview Country Club before heading to Estonia on 31 January.
South African team rankings (singles/doubles);
Chani Scheepers; Singles 81, Doubles: 127
Chanel Simmonds; Singles 309, Doubles: 258
Ilze Hattingh; Singles 656, Doubles: 526
Michelle Sammons; Singles 674, Doubles: 348