Chanel Simmonds in action for the South African Fed Cup team during her singles rubber on Thursday. Photo: @TennisSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Fed Cup team has gained promotion to the Europe/Africa Zone Group II after beating Malta 2-1 in their playoff tie in Montenegro on Thursday.

Chanel Simmonds was the star player for South Africa winning her singles rubber before featuring in the decisive doubles match with Madrie le Roux.

It was a superb start to Rene Plant’s tenure as Fed Cup captain with her charges moving up from the bottom tier of the international women’s series.

The Fed Cup team beat Montenegro (2-1), Kenya (3-0), and Finland (2-1) on their way to the promotion tie in the Europe/Africa Zone Group III tournament.

Debutant Katie Poluta won her first two singles rubbers before going down in the last two against Finland and Malta.

She lost the opening rubber of the playoff match against Malta’s Francesca Curmi 6-1 6-0, before Simmonds levelled the tie by beating Elaine Genovese 6-1 7-6(1).

Simmonds and Le Roux wrapped up the tie by beating the Maltese combination of Curmi and Genovese 6-1 6-1.

IOL Sport

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