Sri Lanka leaves for Fed Cup in China tomorrowJanuary 25, 2012, 8:38 pm
By Revata S. Silva
A three-member team from Sri Lanka will leave for China tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 27, for the biggest annual women’s international team tennis event, the Federation Cup, to be held in Shenzhen Luohu Tennis Centre in Shenzhen, China from Jan. 30 to Feb. 4.
This will be an Asia-Oceania Zone Group-II Fed Cup event where Sri Lanka will participate for the first time since 2008.
Sri Lanka Team:
Roshenka Fernando, Nilushi Fernando and Thisuri Molligoda. Coach: Dinith Pathiraja
Participating Nations (10):
Hong Kong - China, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan
There will be an initial round-robin for the 10 participating nations, which will be placed in two Pools, and then the winners of both Pools will engage in another play off to decide which nation is promoted to the Asia-Oceania Zone Group-I in 2013.
Fed Cup Tournament Structure:
Sri Lanka has been playing in both Group-I and II of the Asia-Oceania Zone (the Zone has only two Groups) but has never qualified to play in the World Group-II Play Offs, the next upper level of the Fed Cup tournament structure.
Sri Lanka is currently ranked at 91st in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) country rankings, along with both Iran and Barbados (=91). There are a total number of 95 ranked countries in all with No.1 being Italy and the last (95th) being Syria.
Fed Cup was inaugurated in 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ITF. It is now the world’s largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 90 nations entering in 2011.
Sri Lanka’s Participation in Fed Cup:
Sri Lanka last contested the Fed Cup in 2008 and played only 10 times since her inaugural appearance in 1990. Before 2008, Sri Lanka played in years 1990, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’94, ’95, ’97, 2000 and 2001. She has so far played in 35 ties winning only 11 while losing 24. When past records are concerned, Lihini Weerasuriya and Vajira Premaratne are the leading Fed Cup campaigners for Sri Lanka.
All-time Fed Cup representatives for Sri Lanka (17 players from 1990-2011):
Manisha Abeywardene, Anoushka Boralessa, Vindya Dayananda, Sobhini de Silva, Dinali de Silva, Nilupul Goonasekera, Jithmie Jayawickrema, Dilshani Manawadu, Amritha Muttiah, Shalini Pereira, Vajira Premaratne, Anushka Rajiyah, Saranga Sangakkara, Mahesha Seneviratne, Lihini Weerasuriya, Upeka Wijeratne and Samanthi Wijesekera.
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