Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
19 Apr 2018
4:01 pm

SA team earn Fed Cup promotion

Wesley Botton

The national women's tennis team will return to the Euro-Africa Group 2 division next year after beating Malta 2-1 in their Fed Cup promotion playoff tie in the coastal town of Ulcinj in Montenegro on Thursday.

Katie Poluta. Picture: Gallo Images

Needing a win to lift themselves from the bottom tier of the international team competition, South Africa got off to a wobbly start, with debutant Katie Poluta falling in a convincing 1-6, 0-6 defeat to 15-year-old prodigy Francesca Curmi.

The SA squad fought back in the second singles rubber, however, with Chanel Simmonds taking a 6-1, 7-6(1) victory over Elaine Genovese. In the deciding doubles fixture, the experienced pairing of Simmonds and Madrie le Roux swept aside Curmi and Genovese with a commanding display, romping to a 6-1, 6-1 win in a match that lasted just 49 minutes.

Earlier in the week, the South Africans had defeated Kenya (3-0), hosts Montenegro (2-1) and Finland (2-1) to finish top of their pool at the Group 3 tournament, earning their place in the promotion playoffs.

The SA team had been relegated last season, after losing all four of their matches at the Group 2 tournament in Lithuania.