From the blog

Stosur to lead Australia in Fed Cup

  • mark.skendaris
  • 23 April 2010
  • 04:04

World number 10 Samantha Stosur will be the backbone of Australia’s Fed Cup team that heads to Kharkiv on Saturday for its World Group Play-off tie. A win for the Australians means a spot back in the World Group for the first time since 2004.


By Mark Skendaris


Stosur, a winner of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston last week will represent Australia along with Anastasia Rodionova currently ranked 96th, Alicia Molik (97) and Rennae Stubbs, ranked eighth in doubles.


In the World Group II first round, Australia claimed a narrow 3-2 victory over Spain in Adelaide, with Stosur winning all three of the rubbers she played in. Her current career-best form will surely be the key to Australia’s chances against Ukraine.


The home team will be headed by world No. 25, Alona Bondarenko. Joining her is Mariya Koryttseva (103), Lyudmyla Kichenok (299) and Nadiya Kichenok (675).


World No. 30, Kateryna Bondarenko who was part of the Ukraine Fed Cup team at the start of the year, is not available for the tie. She has not played on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour since sustaining a left knee injury in Dubai in February.


Stosur will once again be the No.1 player in the team with an undefeated record since the start of 2009, which includes eight straight singles wins and 11 overall including doubles. 


Anastasia Rodionova will make her Fed Cup debut at the age of 27 and along Molik and Stubbs has the edge in experience over the hosts. Stubbs is competing in her 16th Fed Cup season and will make her 40th appearance in Ukraine, while Molik will be competing in her 17th Fed Cup tie.


It will be the first time that 17-year-old twin sisters Lyudmyla and Nadiya Kichenok represent Ukraine at Fed Cup level.

Ukraine and Australia have met once before in the Fed Cup when the Ukrainians recorded a 4-1 victory in the World Group II Play-offs on the Gold Coast in 2007.
Australian coach David Taylor is confident his team can get the victory.


“This is perhaps one of the most significant Fed Cup ties in recent memory,” he said.


“It is an opportunity for the Australian team to re-establish itself among the elite countries in the women’s tennis.


“Our No.1 singles player, Sam, will once again take on the role of team leader while Rennae, who is the longest serving member in Australian Fed Cup history, makes a strong doubles combination with Sam if it gets down to the fifth rubber.


“Anastasia is in the Top 100 and will been keen to represent her country at Fed Cup for the first time since she was granted Australian citizenship in December 2009. She is a real fighter on court and will make the most of every opportunity.


“Alicia is also into the Top 100 which is an unbelievable feat within six months.


“She brings not only the experience of seventeen Fed Cup ties but amazing form, defeating Jie Zheng in Dubai and Anabel Medina-Garrigues in Indian Wells over the last two months.”


“The Ukrainian team has a lot of depth and we will need to be at our best but I think we are up for the challenge and we are looking forward to the contest.”


The tie takes place on the 24th and 25th of April at the Palace of Sports Kharkiv, Ukraine on an indoor claycourt.





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