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18 March 2013

Ivanovic commits to play-offs


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Photo: Paul Zimmer/Srdjan StevanovicAna Ivanovic (SRB)

Serbia's Ana Ivanovic has revealed that she will make herself available to play in April's World Group play-off against Germany in Stuttgart.

The former world No. 1, who won her team's only point in last year's Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final in Prague, took to Facebook at the weekend to make the announcement.

"I'm pleased to confirm that I'll be playing Fed Cup against Germany next month," said the 25-year-old. "They have a strong team so I'm expecting a close and exciting tie."

She added "if I'm selected", which would be a bold manouevre by captain Dejan Vranes to leave out a player of Ivanovic's calibre against an extremely tricky opponent in Germany.

Barbara Rittner, the German captain, described her side as an "elevator team" after defeating France in February's World Group II first round encounter, owing to the fact that Germany have a tendency to flit between the top two tiers of the competition.

On paper, Serbia v Germany will be an intriguing clash. The hosts currently have four players ranked inside the Top 40, including world No. 6 Angelique Kerber, and the charismatic Andrea Petkovic is also making a welcome return after a series of injury setbacks.

Serbia, meanwhile, has at its disposal Ivanovic - whose credentials need no explanation - and could pick another former world No. 1 in Jelena Jankovic. That duo coupled with the up-and-coming Bojana Jovanovski is a difficult obstacle for any nation.

Team nominations wil be announced on 10 April.

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