Experienced Natalie Grandin will spearhead the South African attack at the upcoming Fed Cup Europe / Africa Zone Group 2 tournament to be played at the Golf El Solaimaneyah Club in Cairo from April 18 to 21.
The balance of the team is Lyn Kiro, Madrie le Roux, and Ilze Hattingh. The team is captained by John-Laffnie de Jager. It was Grandin, along with Chanel Simmonds, who secured the victory over Egypt last year after winning their respective singles matches in straight sets. South Africans were promoted after an overall 3-0 win in the play-off.
Grandin is focused on doubles play in which she is ranked at No 27 in the world but has a singles ranking of 782.
The tournament will be played on red clay and the other countries South Africa will be facing are Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Latvia, Montenegro, Norway and Turkey.
The eight countries will be divided in two pools and will play against the others in their pool on a round-robin basis. The winner of each pool will play-off against the runner-up in the other pool to determine which two teams will advance to Europe / Africa Zone Group I in 2013.
Nations in third place in each pool will play-off against nations in fourth place in other pool to determine which two nations will be relegated to Europe / Africa Zone Group III in 2013.
“I am excited for the young players in the team,” said De Jager. “They are our best juniors and still only 15 and 16 years old. This will be great for their tennis.
“With Natalie in the team they will have a great player to learn from. Natalie has been part of the Fed Cup team for many years and knows what it is to play for her country. She really has the gift to help and mentor young players. She has had a great 16 months on the WTA tour and her experience will be invaluable in Egypt.”
Two weeks ago, Ilze Hattingh won the prestigious African Junior Championships beating Madrie le Roux in the final. Hattingh and Le Roux then teamed up to win the doubles title.