captain Alicia Molik (right), with Ashleigh Barty, is planning to face the Netherlands. will attempt to rise back into the Fed Cup’s World Group for the first time since 2015 with a home tie against the Netherlands in April.
The play-off draw was announced in London on Tuesday night (AEDT) with securing a second straight series on home soil after defeating Ukraine 3-2 in Canberra last weekend.
A win in the April 21-22 tie would mean Alicia Molik’s team will advance to the top-eight nations for next year’s competition and in contention to end a 44-year title drought.
It was two years in between playing in , so Molik was naturally delighted to again have the home court advantage.
A choice of venue and surface would be decided soon, with a grass court being temporarily laid against Ukraine.
“It’s very exciting to have another Fed Cup tie at home – we’ve played away in Europe so many times in the past few years,” Molik said.
“We need to think about what will work best for the players and their schedules.”
The Dutch lost to a USA team, headlined by Venus Williams and Coco Vandeweghe and included a doubles cameo from Serena Williams, in the first round of the World Group last weekend.
The Netherlands were missing world No.28 Kiki Bertens for the tie, with Richel Hogenkamp and Arantxa Rus, who are ranked outside the top 100, playing in the singles rubbers.
survived a scare to get to the play-offs, overcoming a Elina Svitolina-less Ukraine in a live doubles rubber as Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua secured the tie.
World No.26 Daria Gavrilova was upset twice in her singles rubbers, with teenage sensation Marta Kostyuk winning their match in straight sets.