Preview: Fed Cup day 1
Casey Dellacqua plays Anabel Medina-Garrigues in her opening rubber on Saturday in the Fed Cup tie in Adelaide, which begins tonight.
Dellacqua, who edged out Alicia Molik for the second singles berth, leads their head to head 1-0 and will be looking to repay the faith of captain Taylor and coach Nic Bradtke by extending her lead to 2-0.
“I’m just going to get out there and approach it the way I would any other match,” said Dellacqua shortly after the draw was held on Friday.
Australian No.1 Sam Stosur faces a tricky opening match against Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez.
Martinez-Sanchez has had the wood on Stosur to date, defeating the Queenslander in their two previous meetings.
Stosur, who is coming off a fourth-round appearance at the Australian Open, said she was working with Fed Cup captain and her personal coach, David Taylor, to find some winning touch against Martinez.
“It’s never the ideal record … it’s just a matter of me going out there and executing a game plan correctly,” she told AAP.
“I know it’s going to be tough, but think I’m good enough to beat her, so it’s just going to come down to whatever happens tomorrow.”
Martinez said despite her two wins over the Australian in Bali and at the Hopman Cup in Perth, she will still be hard to beat.
“I think it is going to be difficult because she is number 11 in the world right now,” she told reporters.
“I think I’m playing good right now – it’s going to be a good match.”
Molik and Rennae Stubbs will carry Australia’s hopes in the doubles against Nuria Llagostera and Carla Suarez.
Stosur said the team had been practising together for about three days so far and morale was high ahead of this weekend’s showdown.
“We’re in all this together, we all know we’re going to give it our best shot no matter what happens – win or lose,” she said.
Although she admitted to some trepidation about her match against Martinez, Stosur is determined for Australia to regain its spot in the Fed Cup’s premier World Group.
“If we manage to do it this year that’d be a great achievement and maybe one day we can actually win it,” she said.
“It is close, but Spain’s a good team as well, so we can’t take anything lightly.”
The winner of the tie progresses to a play-off to decide which nation returns to the premier World Group.
The losing nation faces a play-off to remain in World Group II.