Photo: Srdjan StevanovicAlina Silich (RUS) during the 2012 Junior Fed Cup Final
Russia will continue its bid to win the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas title for a fourth time when it takes part in the Europe final qualifying event, also known as the Helvetie Cup, in Leysin, Switzerland on 5-7 August.
Junior Fed Cup champions in 1997, 2009 and 2010 and a three-time runner-up in the competition, including to USA in last year’s final, Russia successfully came through pre-qualifying for the 2013 event in Zone D in Ankara, Turkey last week for the loss of just one rubber against Belarus.
This week’s Final qualifying event proves Russia’s final hurdle for a place in the 2013 Junior Fed Cup Finals in San Luis Potosi, Mexico on 24-29 September.
The Russian team, which consists of Darya Kasatkina, Veronika Kudermetova and Aleksandra Pospelova, will be joined by fellow Zone D qualifiers and 2006 champion Belarus, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Slovenia in competing for one of six spots up for grabs for European teams into September's Finals.
The competition’s format sees the four first round winners automatically qualify for a place in Mexico, while the four losing teams on the opening day will battle it out to secure the two remaining spots, knowing a win would take them to Mexico.
The Europe final qualifying event for the boys (also known as the Borotra Cup) held in Le Touquet, France, follows the same format with host nation France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Switzerland all looking for the win that would guarantee their participation in the prestigious Junior Davis Cup Finals.
Switzerland will be the team to watch after knocking out reigning champion Italy on its own turf in pre-qualifying. Great Britain, who defeated Italy in the 2011 final, will also miss out on a place in this year's Junior Davis Cup Finals after losing to the host nation in their first round encounter in Trani.
Five of the eight teams through to Europe final qualifying have won the Junior Davis Cup title before – Germany in 1989, 1995 and 2003, Russia in 1990 (as USSR), Spain in 1991, 1998, 2002 and 2004, France in 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2005 and Netherlands in 1994 and 2006.
You can keep up to date with the full scores from Leysin and Le Touquet here.