Bendigo Tennis Association hopeful of securing semi-final tie
THE Bendigo Tennis Association is vying to host the Federation Cup semi-final showdown between Australia and Germany in April.
The Association is hopeful Tennis Australia will offer Bendigo the chance to host the world-renowned event.
The Australian women's team won through to the semi-final play-off at the weekend, defeating Russia 4-0 in Hobart.
It is the first time the Australian Fed Cup team has made the semi-final stage of the tournament since 1993.
Should Bendigo earn the right to host the tie, central Victorian tennis fans would get the opportunity to watch US Open champion Sam Stosur and the in-form Casey Dellacqua lead the Australian team into battle.
Germany's squad would potentially include top-10 player Angelique Kerber, Andrea Petkovic, Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld.
Bendigo Tennis Association chief executive Leon Retallick admitted a lot of work would need to be done to the centre’s facilities between now and April if it were to host the tie.
But he said it would be an exciting opportunity for the city and the region.
“To have a world cup group tie in Bendigo it would be pretty big," Retallick said.
“We narrowly missed out on hosting the first Fed Cup tie against Russia.
“It came down to the final two and it went to Hobart.
“We were close to hosting it last time so, hopefully, they consider us again."
Retallick said a representative from Tennis Australia had inspected the Nolan Street facility late last year about potentially hosting the tie.
He said in order for the BTA to host the event, three tennis courts would have to be extended and a 4000 seat grandstand needed to be constructed.
“We have already spoken to the people who put up the grandstand seating at the Melbourne Grand Prix and the Davis Cup tie in Geelong about what we need to do,” Retallick said.
“It is all possible it is just about the funding.
"Tennis Australia also have to decide if they want to host the event in a metropolitan city or at a regional centre.
“There is a lot of water under the bridge.”
The Federation Cup semi-final is scheduled for April 19 and 20.