(photo credit: AP)
Israel's Fed Cup team faces a tricky away tie against Estonia in the World Group II playoffs in April.
Israel was among the top eight nations in the World Group at the start of last year, but after suffering two defeats to Russia and the Czech Republic in 2008 and falling to Ukraine this past weekend Shahar Pe'er's and Tzipi Obziler's side finds itself fighting against relegation to the Europe/Africa Zone.
Estonia's top player is world number 23 Kaia Kanepi, with Maret Ani (109) and Margit Ruutel (178) the country's only other players ranked in the world's top 900.
"It's a shame we were handed an away draw, but at least we have a reasonable chance of winning," captain Lior Mor said about the tie which will be played over the weekend of April 25-26.
"Our one and only goal is to remain in the World Group II and from this moment onwards that is the only thing on our mind. We know Kanepi well and we will prepare appropriately."
On Wednesday, Pe'er begins her participation in the Pattaya Open in Thailand when she faces local wild-card Noppawan Lertcheewakarn.
Last year's Fed Cup runner-up Spain will face Serbia in the World Group I playoffs.
Spain lost to the Czech Republic in the first round last weekend after having reached the final against Russia in 2008.
In the playoffs to determine which teams will participate in the elite eight-nation World Group I next year, Spain will host the Serbs, which used Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic to beat Japan in World Group II.
In the other best-of-five playoffs on April 25-26, France hosts Slovakia, Germany hosts China and Argentina hosts Ukraine.
The United States, which has won 17 Fed Cup titles, visits the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup semifinals while defending champion Russia takes on Italy.
AP contributed to this report.
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