Olivia Rogowska has been selected in Australia's Fed Cup team for the first time, replacing struggling Jelena Dokic for the tough World Group play-off tie against Germany.
Nineteen-year-old Rogowska (ranked 120) was called up by captain David Taylor on Tuesday, joining Samantha Stosur (five), Jarmila Gajdosova (50) and Casey Dellacqua (101) in the team for the April 21-22 claycourt clash in Stuttgart, as Australia seeks promotion to the World Group.
While called up, Rogowska appears unlikely to play.
Taylor said Stosur and Gajdosova remained the team's top two singles players while Dellacqua's new tour doubles combination with Stosur could prove crucial in the tie.
Germany, which has four players in the top 20 - Andrea Petkovic (11), Sabine Lisicki (13), Angelique Kerber (15) and Julia Goerges (16) is due to name its team in the next few days.
Taylor indicated much rested on the form of his personal coaching charge Stosur, who has yet to recapture the form that won her the 2011 US Open this season.
"A lot of our chances for success will be with our number one (Stosur) reaching top form," he said.
"Sam has done well at this venue in the past, losing in a close (WTA Tour) final to Justine Henin in 2010 and losing a very close match in the semi-finals last year to Germany's number two Julia Goerges.
"Sam is one of the best claycourt players in women's tennis at the moment and is capable of leading our team to what would be a memorable victory."
Dokic, who turns 29 on Thursday, has slipped below Rogowska in the rankings at 126 and has struggled badly on tour this year, winning only three matches and losing in the first round in Indian Wells, Miami and Charleston in her last three starts.
She also lost a tight three-set clash with Rogowska in Kuala Lumpur in early March.
"Nicole and I decided to go with Olivia Rogowska as a reward for her big ranking improvement in the past six months and her performances at the WTA level during the Australian summer," Taylor said.
"She has also proven herself on clay with a win over Russian star Maria Kirilenko at Roland Garros."
The German team lost 4-1 to the Czech Republic in Stuttgart in February in their World Group tie to face possible relegation while Australia reached the play-off for promotion by beating Switzerland 4-1 in Fribourg in a World Group II tie.
"Germany is fortunate to be enjoying a renaissance in women's tennis," Taylor said.
"They have four top 20 players and it is the strongest team Australia could have drawn.
"The venue has already sold out and the Germans, like us, have high expectations."
AAPTags: tennis, sport, australia, germany First posted April 10, 2012 18:03:30