When several countries from APAC region gather in Thailand in April for the Fed Cup team tennis competition - one nation would be missing. Tennis New Zealand has decided not to enter a team for the second consecutive year as they felt the team did not stand a good chance to earn a promotion to Group I of the event.
The Kiwis currently have only two players in the WTA rankings - Marina Erakovic at No. 141 and 19-year-old Claudia Williams at 1182. And while Erakovic has been a regular on the WTA Tour in the past, not sending a team means lack of exposure to players like Williams, who rarely has the chance to compete above the lower-level ITF events due to her low ranking.
Erakovic, who in the past had prioritized WTA events over Fed Cup, has said that she would like to play Fed Cup but says it is upto Tennis New Zealand to provide a provide a team and nurture talent. Tennis NZ CEO Steve Johns said that he is hopeful of putting a team together in the coming years as there are a few junior girls who are showing promise. But until then, the Kiwis will not be part of the Fed Cup competition.
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