ITF waiting for Germany to accept Fed Cup spot vacated by United States

Friday, October 26th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LONDON (AP) _ The governing body of world tennis said Friday it was waiting to hear if Germany would replace the United States in next month's Fed Cup.

The two-time defending champion Americans withdrew on Thursday with concerns about player security in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Barbara Travers, a spokeswoman for the ITF, said Germany had until Monday to decide about filling out the eight-team field.

Germany would join Spain, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Argentina, Russia and Australia in the Nov. 7-11 tournament in Madrid, Spain. The Fed Cup is the women's equivalent of the Davis Cup at the top team event in women's tennis.

If Germany declines, Slovakia would be the next team invited followed by Italy and Switzerland. The four teams lost playoff ties to reach the Fed Cup finals. The order is based on the combined ranking _ as of Oct. 1 _ of the top two players likely to play.

Ignacio Del Rio, a top assistant in the Madrid city hall, said security at the 5,000-seat veune would be ``very strict,'' but said he understood the Americans' doubts about playing.

``It's a shame the United States won't come to the Fed Cup because of security concerns in spite of all the efforts we've made through the Spanish tennis federation to explain that security will be very strict,'' Del Rio said.