Sport: Pacific Oceania to compete in both Fed and Davis Cups
For the first time in a decade Oceania Tennis says it will enter both a men's and women's team from Pacific Oceania in the Davis and Fed Cup tournaments.
Oceania Tennis says it will enter both a men's and women's team in the upcoming Davis and Federation Cup competitions.
The regional body, which runs the Pacific Oceania team, had considered dumping its Davis Cup side, after years of underachievement, and reintroducing a team for the Fed Cup.
Pacific Oceania have been active in the Davis Cup since 1995 but has not entered a women's team for ten years.
Oceania Tennis Executive Officer David Smith told Vinnie Wylie they've finally found a way to enter both.
DAVID SMITH: We've done quite a bit of spade-work and next year there will be both a men's and a women's team. The women probably will play we don't know where yet but it is likely to be in February and the men a little later in the year, probably around the July period.
VINNIE WYLIE: From the female perspective it's been a few years - I think more than a few years. Obviously there's a few players over in the [United] States: Steffi Carruthers has been playing a lot of circuit matches and there's one or two in the NCAA [College competition] as well, so there's some players there that have some talent.
DS: Well that's right. Steffi as you know has been playing on the women's tour - she's a Samoan - and her ranking got to just inside the top 900. Then of course you've got the two Tere-Apisah sisters, Abigail and Marcia, so clearly they would be heading up a team, you would expect, if they're all available.
VW: Was it always the case that if you could afford both you would do both - I mean what is different this year?
DS: It has been around I guess money - you're right, it has been - because it's not cheap to send a team. What we don't know is, the region that we play in you could be going almost to the fringes of Arabia, around Kazakhstan - up around those areas there - or it could be going very close here in sort of fringe Asia, so it is expensive. and it really has been a cost factor.
VW: And last year you had the added inconvenience of you had a tie that was about to happen and then, due to security concerns out of your control, there was a delay.
DS: Well that's right. Originally the men's team was going to go to Myanmar and I think it was probably about two weeks beforehand we were advised by the ITF that, due to security concerns, they were going to defer that, and then of course it subsequently was held three months later in Iran. Of course you will remember they were extraordinarily unlucky to be pipped at the final post which would have meant that they would have been promoted, that's the men's team. Myanmar also earlier had issues when the New Zealand Davis Cup team went there to play Pakistan. So they selected Myanmar as their homeground on grass and of course the courts broke up badly with holes - quite big holes in behind the baseline and on the court and so on - and so that tie was called off and awarded to New Zealand as you probably know
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