The Maltese team is participating in the 2018 Fed Cup being held in Montenegro. The team is made up of seasoned player Elaine Genovese, Brenda Galea, upcoming juniors Francesca Curmi and Emily Lightfoot. The Team Captain is the experienced past Malta Champion Helen Asciak.
Malta has been drawn in Group B, Pool B for Euro/Africa Group III. The winners of Group B will challenge the winners in Group A of Pool A for the Pool B promotion slot to Euro/Africa Group II. Group B sees Malta playing off round robin against no. one seed Morocco, second seed Ireland and ultimately Uganda. Group A fields Finland as top seed, followed by South Africa, Montenegro and Kenya.
The Maltese ladies got off to an impressive and flying start to their commitments. They were drawn to play Ireland on the first day today 16 April 2018. They won their encounter 3 rubbers to nil.
First on court in the ladies’ singles was 15 year old Francesca Curmi who has seen much attention in the local media for her recent achievement of entering the World Top 80 ITF junior ranking. An excellent display of her talent saw her beat a much older and experienced Fed Cup player Jane Fennely of Ireland 6/1, 6/2.
On next was Elaine Genovese who was scheduled to play Amy Bowtell. The two ladies had met each other way back in 2010 Fed Cup where Elaine had lost her encounter in a third set. Elaine came out strong replicating Francesca’s straight set win of 6/1, 6/2.
At this stage Malta had already closed off the win for the day, but it was crucial that they went on to win the doubles’ rubber for final scoring to reach play-off. Showing off similar determined form the two Maltese ladies went on to win the doubles encounter also in straight sets 6/4, 6/0.
Dr David Farrugia Sacco, President of the Malta Tennis Federation, said that he was extremely pleased with the excellent start to our Fed Cup challenge. Malta has for the first time beaten Ireland, and more important, this excellent start augurs well for us to move forward to another promotion challenge, only just 2 weeks after the fantastic shoing of the Maltese Davis Cup team up against Montenegro.
Malta is scheduled to play Uganda in its round robin second encounter tomorrow.