Saturday, March 17, 2012

Taylor faces tough Fed Cup choices

Updated February 02, 2012 16:26:19

Fed Cup captain David Taylor admits he has some big selection issues to sort out for Australia's World Group II tennis tie against Switzerland this week.

Compounding the problem is the questionable form of his top two-ranked players - Samantha Stosur and Jarmila Gajdosova - over the first month of the season.

US Open champion Stosur has won only one match in three tournaments in 2012 but there is no question she will be Australia's singles number one against the Swiss in Fribourg.

The big question is who will be the second singles player, with a choice between world number 49 Gajdosova, number 67 Jelena Dokic or even number 103 Casey Dellacqua.

"I think Sam will play. She is number five in the world and it is great to have someone of that ranking in our team," Taylor said.

"The second singles spot is still undecided and the decision will be based on our practice over the next few days."

Gajdosova suffered two heavy defeats at the Hopman Cup in Perth and another in the first round of the Australian Open, although she won a couple of matches in Hobart.

Dokic reached the second round in Sydney and the Australian Open while Dellacqua's strong return from injury was stopped by eventual champion Victoria Azarenka in the second round of the Australian Open.

And Taylor must also decide on a new doubles combination following the retirement of longtime mainstay Rennae Stubbs.

"We haven't really found that yet, so we will also have to decide on that closer to Saturday," he said.

Australia is fighting to return to the top eight in the World Group in 2013 and must win in Switzerland and a second play-off tie in April.

Fortunately, the Swiss are not a big power with their team comprising world number 124 Stefanie Voegele, number 219 Amra Sadikovic, number 244 Timea Bacsinszky and number 1061 Belinda Bencic.

The tie will be played in wintery cold on a temporary indoor clay court, where the Australian team is battling to adjust after the hot, hardcourt Australian season.

"We all arrived pretty frozen," Taylor said on Wednesday.

"It is very cold and quite a contrast to Melbourne.

"We have just had one practice session on the court and it is of a very good standard for temporary indoor courts.

"We still have a little bit of work to do before Saturday but we will get there."


Tags: tennis, sport, switzerland

First posted February 02, 2012 16:26:19

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