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PNG's Tere-Apisah eyes Fed Cup

Abigail Tere-Apisah of Papua New Guinea says she is looking forward to helping the Pacific Oceania tennis team in their Fed Cup campaign in Kazakhstan next month.

The team, comprising five women representing the island nations of Oceania, will begin their campaign on Feb 4 in Astana.

Tere-Apisah told The National on Monday that in the team were her niece Violet, Carol Lee (Northern Mariana Islands), Steffi Carruthers (Samoa) and skipper Gilles de Govy (Tahiti).

She said they were expecting stiff competition from Thailand, China, Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Indonesia and Kazakhstan.

“It’s a tough competition but we all are working very hard as representatives of (the island nations of) Oceania,” Tere-Apisah said.

The 2015 Pacific Games gold medallist, who is training in Port Moresby, said she was prepared to help lead the side at the premier international team competition in women’s tennis.

“I’ve been here since the beginning of last month after a tournament in China and it’s good to be home spending time with my family,” Tere-Apisah said.

“At the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, I won gold in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

“Last year, I was lucky enough to jump on board with Kina Bank, which is my major sponsor.

“I’m really grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to travel overseas.”

The 26-year-old, from Morobe and Central, said she had been assisted under the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Grand Slam funding programme for the last three years.

“The ITF is a professional body that oversees tournaments around the world. It is sponsoring me alongside Kina Bank.

“I have a couple of professional doubles medals and titles.

“I joined the professional circuit just two years ago and my goal is to keep improving my ranking.

“I eventually want to compete in a Grand Slam and represent PNG on the world stage.”

Tere-Apisah, who reached a singles career high ranking of 276 last August, nearly became the first Papua New Guinea to compete in a Grand Slam when she took on China’s Wang Xinyu in the Asia-Pacific wildcard playoff final for the 2018 Australian Open. But she lost 6-4, 5-7, 4-6..

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