KIA SA Fed Cup team shines bright in Estonia
- Simmond and Scheepers defeat opponents for 2-0 win over Finland
- KIA SA Fed Cup Team promoted to Europe/Africa Group I for 2016
(TALLINN, Estonia) February 11, 2015 – Following an exceptional performance in Estonia throughout the last week, the KIA SA Fed Cup team beat Finland on Saturday, 8 February, to gain promotion to the Euro/Africa Zone Group I. The two South African singles players, Chanel Simmonds and Chani Scheepers, dropped only eight games in beating their respective Finish opponents in both singles rubbers played.
A steady rise to the top
The matches against Finland follows the KIA SA Fed Cup Team’s stellar performance in the Europe/Africa Zone Group II Pool A matches last week. South Africa opened the week on Wednesday, 4 February, with a 3-0 win over African rivals Egypt, then shocked hosts and tournament favourites Estonia with a 2-1 win on Thursday, 5 February.
After the long and mentally challenging tie against the host nation, it took Scheepers and Simmonds just two hours to clinch the third and final Pool A Fed Cup tie for South Africa against Bosnia/Herzegovina on Friday, 6 February. Simmonds got South Africa out the starting blocks first with a convincing 6-4 6-2 win over Damira Muminovic. In the second rubber South African number one Scheepers overcame a first set struggle to beat Jelena Simic 6-4 6-0.
The 2-1 win over Bosnia/Herzegovina made South Africa unbeaten in Pool A of the Europe/Africa Zone Group II competition.
Fighting for promotion
In the matches against Finland, who topped Pool B in the Europe/Africa Zone Group II competition, Simmonds got her country onto the scoreboard first with a 6-2 6-4 win over Piia Suomalainen.
It was then the South African No 1, Chani Scheepers, who clinched the tie for South Africa when she beat Finnish No 1, Ella Leivo, 6-2 6-0. Scheepers remained unbeaten all week. The doubles rubber was not played in an agreement made between the two Captains.
David Sieff, KIA South Africa Marketing Director, commented that this is a great step forward for the KIA SA Fed Cup Team. “We are excited to be part of helping the team achieve this result, along with getting Chani Scheepers to showcase her talent for South Africa’s benefit.”
Tennis South Africa President, Gavin Crookes, also congratulated the South African team following their win. “What a fantastic effort by Earl and all the team members. We are extremely proud of you all and congratulate each one of you for the part you played in this success,” he said.
“It is evident that a nice, fresh energy has sprung within the team, complimented by our top ranked player Chani Scheepers’ availability; an energy that has transformed into a winning way and the combined effort has resulted in the aim and objective being reached of promotion into Group I.”
KIA South Africa Fed Cup team player Chanel Simmonds in action on Saturday. Simmonds beat Piia Suomalainen of Finland 6-2 6-4 in the opening rubber.