Will Australia opt out of home Fed Cup semifinal tie vs. Germany?
After shutting out Russia 4-0 in the first round of Fed Cup World Group play, Australian Sam Stosur says she wouldn't mind contesting the semifinal tie in Europe, even though Australia has the choice of playing at home. Australia will face Germany, which defeated Slovakia in Bratislava. The tie will be played on April 19-20, when most players are already in Europe for clay-court tournaments.
"It would be nice if it was in Europe, I guess for my own selfish reasons," Stosur told reporters. "I guess everybody else would also be heading to Europe."
Last year, Australia chose to play their World Group Playoff tie against Switzerland in Chiasso, Switzerland despite having the choice of playing at home.
Australian captain Alicia Molik said she might ask the players to fly back home.
"I think it would be nice," Molik said. "I guess we have to look at the tournaments, dates, what everyone's playing. I guess if it's a winning advantage, any athlete does whatever they can to win."
If Australia chooses to play in Europe, Germany will be able to pick the surface.
Australia last played a Fed Cup semifinal in 1993, while Germany hasn't reached the semis since 1995.
Germans Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber both scored wins over Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova in Bratislava.