Germany picks clay for Fed Cup against United States

Updated: January 12, 2006, 9:20 AM ET
Associated Press

HAMBURG, Germany -- Germany chose a clay court for its Fed Cup quarterfinal against the United States in April.

"I expected that we would be playing on clay," U.S. captain Zina Garrison said. "The Europeans tend to go for clay. The match is in April, which is the start of the red clay season, so it gives our players a chance to play on the same surface through the French Open."

German captain Barbara Rittner selected the surface for the April 22-23 outdoor matches in Ettenheim, a town of 12,000 in the southwest part of the country, German Tennis Federation spokesman Torlaf Bitzer said.

"Of course, the clay," Bitzer said. "As slow as possible."

The winner will face Belgium or defending Fed Cup champion Russia in the semifinals in July. Germany is back in the top-tier World Group for the first time since 2004.

The United States leads the overall Fed Cup series with Germany 6-4. Steffi Graf led the Germans to victory the last two times the countries met -- the 1992 semifinals and 1987 final.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press