Tennis: Tough assignment for Britain

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The Independent Online
GREAT BRITAIN'S women's team could be forgiven for going straight into the recovery position after yesterday's draw dealt a serious blow to their chances of survival in the Federation Cup. Their first-round opponents in Frankfurt next week will be the top seeds Spain, who will field Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez.

Unless Ann Jones, the team's captain in Germany, can inspire Clare Wood, Jo Durie, Amanda Grunfeld and Julie Salmon to produce an upset, Britain's presence in the main draw of the tournament next season will depend on their winning a play-off against the first-round match between Poland and Indonesia.

Australia are similarly threatened, having been pitted against the second seeds, Germany, in their opening match.

FEDERATION CUP (Frankfurt, Ger, 19-25 July) First-round draw (seeds in capitals): SPAIN v Britain; Poland v Indonesia; Latvia v Belgium; Croatia v NETHERLANDS; CZECHOSLOVAKIA v South Africa; Italy v Israel; Sweden v Uruguay; Canada v UNITED STATES; FRANCE v Switzerland; China v Peru; New Zealand v Argentina; South Korea v BULGARIA; JAPAN v Colombia; Chile v Finland; Austria v Denmark; Australia v GERMANY.