Alona Bondarenko makes up half of a special double-act for Ukraine in Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, often teaming up with her younger sister, Kateryna.
The Bondarenkos, who are both ranked inside the world’s Top 35, played an instrumental role in Ukraine’s first ever promotion to the World Group, achieved with victories over Israel and Argentina in 2009.
Alona, 25, made her Fed Cup debut in 2002 and has since compiled a 21-10 winning record. She is not far away from overtaking Elena Tatarkova, who currently holds Ukraine’s individual records for number of wins and appearances.
Ukraine’s debut World Group tie is a tough first round encounter against Italy, the reigning champion. Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone have both been named in the Italian team for the trip to Kharkiv.
“It’s very exciting,” said Alona. “Everyone now start to prepare for this match. We want to play good and we want to win.”
Since Ukraine’s promotion to the World Group, Fed Cup now occupies a position of added value in Alona’s schedule. She has hopes of winning the title in the future.
“It’s very important for us because we’re in the first group,” said Alona. “We want to try to play better and maybe some day win the Fed Cup. We have now a good ranking, a good team, everything good. We try our best.”
Fed Cup is no stranger to having sisters playing in the same team. Poland often names the Radwanskas in its line-up and the Williams sisters have appeared together for USA, to name just two examples.
“We do everything together,” said Alona. “A couple of times we’ve played the deciding match, doubles, and we won two times. It’s good to play together. If it’s your sister you know how to play, but you need to play good.”