The ITF today announced the team nominations for Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Europe/Africa Zone Group I, taking place on 2-5 February at the Municipal Tennis Club in Eilat, Israel.
Caroline Wozniacki, the world No. 1 from Denmark, heads up a high-class field that also includes two further Top 20 players, Belarus’s Victoria Azarenka and Israel’s Shahar Peer.
Wozniacki, who won six WTA Tour titles last season, made her Fed Cup debut as a 14-year-old in 2005 and has helped Denmark retain its Group I status each year since. She is joined in the side by up-and-coming teenagers Karen Barbat, Mai Grage and Cecilie Melsted.
Azarenka, currently ranked No. 10, spearheads a strong Belarusian team alongside world No. 75 Olga Govortsova, while Peer takes her place in the Israeli line-up for the tenth straight year.
Romanian captain Irina Spirlea, a successful Fed Cup player herself in the early 1990s, will be confident of pushing for promotion after naming three players inside the Top 100, led by world No. 29 Alexandra Dulgheru.
Switzerland’s hopes rest on the shoulders of the evergreen Patty Schnyder, who first played Fed Cup back in 1996. The left-hander is backed up by world No. 50 Timea Bacsinszky.
Great Britain is also a contender for promotion after naming the experienced duo of Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong alongside former US Open junior champion Heather Watson.
Bulgarian captain Dora Rangelova has called on the services of former world No. 4 Magdalena Maleeva, who hasn’t played professional tennis since retiring in 2005.
Maleeva, a ten-time tournament winner, made a comeback earlier this year by winning the National Championships in Bulgaria, sparking rumours that a return to the game could be on the cards.
“I am very happy that Magi Maleeva wanted to participate in the team,” said Ragelova. “She is a big name in tennis. Her experience and routine will in all cases contribute to our good performance. The fact that she will participate would be an additional motivation to the other tennis players.”
In total, 18 players from the Top 100 are competing in Eilat, where 15 nations will be split into four round-robin pools before promotion and relegation is decided in the subsequent play-offs.
The full list of nominations is below:
Players: Sybille Bammer, Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, Melanie Klaffner, Sandra Klemenschits
Captain: Jurgen Waber
Players: Victoria Azarenka, Olga Govortsova, Darya Kustova, Tatiana Poutchek
Captain: Sergei Teterin
Players: Tsvetana Pironkova, Elitsa Kostova, Dia Evtimova, Magdalena Maleeva
Captain: Dora Rangelova
Players: Ajla Tomljanovic, Jelena Pandzic, Ani Mijacika, Silvia Njiric
Captain: Goran Prpic
Players: Caroline Wozniacki, Karen Barbat, Mai Grage, Cecilie Melsted
Captain: Michael Mortensen
Players: Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong, Heather Watson, Jocelyn Rae
Captain: Nigel Sears
Players: Eleni Daniilidou, Eirini Georgatou, Anna Gerasimou, Despina Papamichail
Captain: George Kalovelonis
Players: Agnes Szavay, Greta Arn, Timea Babos, Reka Luka Jani
Captain: Laszlo Keller
Players: Shahar Peer, Julia Glushko, Keren Shlomo, Valeria Patiuk
Captain: Lior Mor
Players: Anastasija Sevastova, Liga Dekmeijere, Lina Lileikite, Irina Kuzmina
Captain: Juska Daiga
Players: Mandy Minella, Anne Kremer, Claudine Schaul, Tiffany Cornelius
Captain: Frank Eicher
Players: Arantxa Rus, Michaella Krajicek, Kiki Bertens, Richel Hogenkamp
Captain: Manon Bollegraf
Players: Agnieszka Radwanska, Magda Linette, Klaudia Jans, Alicja Rosolska
Captain: Tomasz Wiktorowski
Players: Alexandra Dulgheru, Monica Niculescu, Sorana Cirstea, Cristina Dinu
Captain: Irina Spirlea
Players: Patty Schnyder, Timea Bacsinszky, Stefanie Voegele, Amra Sadikovic
Captain: Christiane Jolissaint
Please note: The information above is subject to change