Photo: Susan MullaneThe Namibian Junior Fed Cup team
The last details related to pre-playing at the Junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals were taken care of on Monday afternoon with the opening ceremony and the official draw taking place.
As usual, the teams were all introduced and photos were snapped of each country with their country sign, not to mention that many of the teams brought their flags along as well.
For one nation this is an entirely new, but hopefully continuing experience - Namibia. The southern African nation, who has no women currently ranked in the WTA Tour rankings, is making their Junior Fed Cup debut this week. There was no doubt that team captain Elizma Nortje was proud to be in San Luis Potosi with her three players - Lesedi Sheya Jacobs, Lize Elfrida Moolman and Jessica Riedel.
The Mexican teams, being the home nation representatives were recognized last, but definitely not least. They were preceded to the front of the auditorium by a group of mariachi singers.
The entertainment portion of the ceremony over, the next step was the draw and the girls’ Fed Cup organizing went first. The draw is done with an effort to keep teams from the same region of the world from being in the same four-country group, but with Europe having the most representatives some groups ended up with two European nations.
A number of the Fed Cup players are already familiar junior names to the international community. Sara Tomic of Australia is known as the younger sister of Bernard Tomic, a young Australian who has already made some noise on the ATP Tour. Kristina Schmiedlova of the Slovak Republic is the younger sister of Anna, who reached the 2012 Roland Garros junior event final.
Nevertheless, much of what is the allure of the Junior Fed Cup competition is the opportunity to see new rising talent at a tournament where the participants are playing for the glory of their country.
Here are the four groups for the round-robin portion of the competition. Bear in mind that on the opening day of play, team No. 1 plays team No. 3, while team No. 2 plays team No. 4.