The SA women’s tennis team were handed a convincing 3-0 defeat on Wednesday, as their promotion hopes to a knock in the opening round of matches at the Fed Cup Euro-Africa Group 2 tournament in Siauliai, Lithuania.
In their first Pool A fixture against Norway, 20-year-old Ilze Hattignh and top-ranked SA player Chanel Simmonds lost their singles matches in straight sets, while Madrie le Roux and Simmonds also went down without winning a set in the doubles rubber.
Ulrikke Eikeri beat Simmonds 6-3 6-1, and Melene Hugo earned a thumping 6-1 6-1 victory over Hattingh.
Le Roux and Simmonds were able to put up more of a fight in the doubles but eventually fell 7-6(1) 6-4 to Astrid Olsen and Caroline Rohde-Moe.
South Africa, relegated from Group 1 last season, were set to face Norway and Slovenia in their remaining pool matches at the four-day tournament, with the top two teams in each group qualifying for this weekend’s promotion playoffs.