Wed, 30 Apr 2003

Indonesia hopes to draw Austria playoffs

Musthofid, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Indonesian Federation Cup team, which is still savoring its successful Japan tour, seems to fancy the prospect of meeting Austria in the World Group playoffs this July.

Indonesia and Japan lived up to their statuses as the second and top seeds, respectively, to secure berths in the World Group playoffs after finishing in the top two during the Group One Asia-Oceania qualifying matches in Tokyo last week.

Also qualifying for the playoffs are Brazil, Canada, Hungary, Israel, South Africa and Switzerland, after winning their respective regional qualifying groups.

The eight qualifiers will be pitted against another eight, those teams who lost their first-round matches in the World Group. The opposing teams are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Colombia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden.

The draw to set the matches will take place at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) office in Roehampton, London, on Thursday, according to

Given that, in 2001, Indonesia had an away match with Austria, team captain Suzanna Anggarkusuma said that they wished for another match so that Indonesia could be host this time.

"Yes, I prefer to be drawn against Austria because most likely we'll play it here after our matches in 2001," Suzanna said during a media conference on Tuesday.

Indonesia, then spearheaded by Yayuk Basuki, lost to Austria 2-3 in 2001.

"If we are to play Austria, then we can choose a playing court of our preference. I think the players would like hardcourts," she said, accompanied by team members at the media conference.

The Indonesian team comprises Angelique Widjaja (world No. 63), Wynne Adiati Prakusya (No. 115) and junior player Sandy Gumulya.

"Sweden could be another team we'd like to meet. They should not be as tough as the others," Suzanna said.

Austria, which consists of Evelyn Fauth, Patricia Wartusch, S. Bammer and E. Meusberger, was relegated to the playoffs after being swept 0-5 by Belgium, which has on its team world No. 2 Kim Clijsters and No.-4 Justine Henin-Hardenne.

During Tuesday's conference, the Indonesian Tennis Association (Pelti) handed over bonuses to both players and coaches, presented by Chairwoman Martina Wijaya.

Meanwhile, in the Junior Davis Cup competition now underway at the Senayan Tennis Courts, top seed Indonesia will play its first match on Wednesday against Hong Kong.

Wahyu Sunu Trijati, the team's ace, said that they would try to win the Group One, which includes New Zealand, to avoid a likely opposition with second-seed India in the next stage.

India, which is grouped with Uzbekistan and Pakistan, had an off-day on Tuesday.

In Tuesday's matches, Hong Kong beat New Zealand 2-1. Other teams chalking up their wins included Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Uzbekistan, South Korea and Sri Lanka.