No Gavrilova for Aust Fed Cup team

With summer sensation Daria Gavrilova deemed ineligible, Australia are worryingly short on form and experience going into this weekend’s Fed Cup tie against Slovakia.

Out-of-sorts Samantha Stosur was on Tuesday named to head a team also comprising Casey Dellacqua, who is on the comeback from concussion problems, and young world No.296 Kimberly Birrell, with either No.314 Arina Rodionova or No.355 Storm Sanders in the fourth spot.

The seasoned Jarmila Wolfe was also unavailable for selection due to a back injury.

Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik would love to have debuted Gavrilova in the wake of her recent exploits, winning the Hopman Cup with Nick Kyrgios then reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open, where she toppled two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

The Moscow-born 21-year-old has lived in Australia since age 15 and gained her Australian citizenship in December, but the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the governing body for Davis and Fed Cup, barred her from the World Group II first round tie against Slovakia in Bratislava.

According to a Newscorp Australia report Tennis Australia appealed the decision but the matter was not expected to be reviewed until the next ITF board meeting in March, meaning she could become available for the next round in April.

The ITF have changed eligibility rules from the start of this year.

Where previously all Gavrilova needed was a gap of three years in playing for another country and two years residency to change allegiance, a player must now hold citizenship for at least two years.

Slovakia have named a powerful team with world No.29 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova joining No.66 Dominika Cibulkova, No.132 Jana Cepelova and veteran former world No.5 Danila Hantuchova, now ranked 101.

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