Local Tennis: Israel gets tough group for Eilat event

By
January 9, 2012 23:31

The blue-and-white will need to finish the pool in first position to advance to a tie against another of the four pool winners.

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Shahar Pe'er

Shahar Pe'er 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Shahar Pe’er and Julia Glusko will have to be at their very best if Israel’s to advance to the Fed Cup World Group II playoffs after the national team was drawn on Monday to face Great Britain, Netherlands and Portugal in Pool C of Europe/Africa Zone Group I, which will be played in Eilat over February 1-4.

The blue-and-white will need to finish the pool in first position to advance to a tie against another of the four pool winners for a place in April’s World Group II playoffs.

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The nations which finish bottom in each pool will face a fight to avoid relegation.

Great Britain looks to be the strongest team in the pool, having two players ranked in the top 100 – Elena Baltacha (53) and Anne Keothavong (75) – as well as youngsters Heather Watson (106) and Laura Robson (133).

However, it will be the captain of the Great Britain team which will garner the most attention in Eilat, with Judy Murray, the mother of world No. 4, Andy Murray, to guide the side for the first time in Israel.

“Our group is challenging as there are some very good players in the opposing teams,” Murray told the LTA’s official website.

“But we have a strong squad and will use the next few weeks to scout our opponents and prepare the girls for Eilat.”

The Netherlands, led by Arantxa Rus (79) and Michaella Krajicek (91), will also present plenty of problems for Pe’er (37) and Glushko (209), with the Portugal team, which includes Michelle Larcher De Brito (148) and Maria Joao Koehler (222), expected to be the weakest side in the pool.


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