The SA Fed Cup team are facing an uphill battle in their bid for promotion, after falling to unseeded Georgia in their first tie of the Euro-Africa Group 1 tournament in Eilat, Israel on Wednesday.
Playing in the top-flight continental division for the first time in 10 years, the national women’s tennis squad lost 3-0 in their opening Pool B encounter.
Madrie le Roux went down in straight sets to Ekaterine Gorgodze before Chanel Simmonds was defeated by Sofia Shapatava in the other singles encounter, also failing to win a set.
Teenager Ilze Hattingh and Michelle Sammons lost to Gorgodze and Oksana Kalashnikova, who earned another straight sets win in the doubles rubber.
South Africa must beat Pool B favourites Great Britain in their next three-match tie on Thursday to have any chance of progressing to the World Group 2 promotion playoffs in April.
Should they lose to the British squad, they will compete in the relegation playoffs on Saturday.