Tennis - Rainer Schüttler, the new German Fed Cup captain, says it will be a tough tie for the Germans when they take on Brazil in Florianopolis in February. Germany will meet Brazil on February 7 and 8 in Florianopolis and the winner of the tie will move into the 2020 Fed Cup Finals in Budapest on April 14-19.
The winners of February's qualifying ties will join defending champion France, 2019 runner-up Australia, the host nation Hungary and wild card the Czech Republic in the newly formatted Fed Cup finals. The tie will be played on a clay court.
According to Focus, Schuttler commented, "It will certainly be a tough away game, changing from the hard court to the Australian Open on clay is not easy, as well as changing the time." The former Australian Open finalist will be making his debut as the Head of the German Fed Cup team.
He succeeds Jens Gerlach, who has joined the team of German tennis player Julia Görges as a coach. Schuttler was earlier working with Angelique Kerber as a coach as well. Germany and Brazil have faced each other in the Fed Cup three times in the past with the Germans winning the most recent tie in Prague 2-1 in 1986.
Schuttler has been appointed as Fed cup captain for one year till the end of 2020 for now. He is now new to the team competitions - having been part of the Davis Cup team for Germany for several years. He is also involved in the ATP Geneva event as a Tournament Director.