Fed Cup teammates Chanel Simmonds and Sinazo Solani hit a few balls under the blazing sun in Johannesburg on Wednesday, but the heat was nothing compared to what they will face at a promotion-relegation tournament in February. SA are ranked sixth of eight sides that will do battle at the national tennis centre in Luxembourg from February 6-9. Coach Rene Plant‚ who oversaw their promotion into Europe/Africa Group II in 2018‚ is hoping they can stay put — the top two finishers will graduate to Group I and the bottom two will drop to Group III. “There are a lot of good No 1 players‚ but I’m not sure of the depth at No 2,” Plant said. Simmonds‚ with a career high singles ranking of 158‚ is the only active tour player in the SA team‚ but Plant said chemistry between her five playing options was key. “It’s about creating an atmosphere off the court that will help us on the court.” Madrie le Roux is a former tour player while Theresa van Zyl‚ Imaan Hassim and Zani Barnard are on the colleg...

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