India’s Sheetal Iyer to referee Davis Cup in Colombo

Sheetal Iyer of India, who is Asia’s first ever women’s ITF Gold Badge Referee, will be officiating as the ITF Referee for the forthcoming Davis Cup between Sri Lanka and New Zealand to be held from March 5-7 in Colombo.

Iyer, based in Pune in the state of Maharashtra, was elevated to the top most officiating position of the ITF officials’ hierarchy in 2007 when she was awarded with the Gold Badge Referee Certificate alongside another leading Indian international tennis official, Nitin Kannamwar who is also from Maharashtra.

The Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) will be the host for the strong Kiwis next month for the first ever Group-II Asia-Oceania Zone tie to be held in Colombo since Feb., 1999.

Incidentally the ’99 tie which Sri Lanka played against Iran marked the last time the country appeared in the prestigious Davis Cup Group-II of her Zone. The Asia-Oceania Zone consists of four Groups. Then Sri Lanka, stagnating in either Group-III or the lowest Group-IV for exactly ten years since ’99, got the elusive Group-II only last year (2009) when she won the second place behind the region, Pacific Oceania in an eight-team Group-III event held in Syria last April.

Sheetal Iyer, who is also a Silver Badge Chief Officials in the ITF ranks, has earlier worked as a Referee in many major Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) events, the Asian Games held in Uzbekistan in 2004 and in many previous Davis Cup ties held in various places in the globe.

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