HAMBURG, February 14, 2017
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced Tuesday that two-time Fed Cup by BNP Paribas champions Germany, who finished runners-up more recently in 2014, will play host to Ukraine from 22 to 23 April in a bid to maintain their World Group status for 2018.
With the threat of relegation on the horizon, Germany’s team captain Barbara Rittner has already announced that world No. 2 Angelique Kerber will be available for the play-off clash. Kerber was absent when Germany lost 0-4 to the United States in the first round tie in Hawaii last weekend.
“Ukraine is very dangerous with Elina Svitolina as No. 1, but we are looking forward to the home tie,” said Rittner. “Angelique Kerber has already given me her pledge for the Fed Cup relegation [tie].”
The Ukraine with Lesia Tsurenko, Elina Svitolina, Olga Savchuk and Nadiia Kichenok sealed a comprehensive 3-1 win over Australia at home in Kharkiv.
Team Germany won the only previous meeting between the two nations in 2004, held on clay at the Elite Tennis Club in Illichevsk. Back then, Rittner was part of the active squad and won both of her singles rubbers as well as her doubles match alongside Jasmin Wöhr.
World Group play-offs 2017
France vs Spain
Russia vs Belgium
Germany vs Ukraine
Slovakia vs Netherlands