16-year-old Celine Simunyu picked for Ireland in Billie Jean King Cup
Anna Bowtell, Sophia Derivan and Shauna Heffernan complete team in Lithuania
Ireland have named their team for the Billie Jean King Cup in Lithuania. Photograph: Inpho
Ireland have selected a 16-year-old girl to compete in the Billie Jean King Cup (formerly known as Fed Cup) in Vilnius, Lithuania in two weeks time.
Celine Simunyu, who has been busy in the junior ranks this year despite Covid-19, comes into the team for her debut tournament having won junior titles and moved up the world rankings. Her win rate on the junior tour is 73 per cent with a 74 per cent win rate on clay and has a current junior ranking of 325 in the world.
Simunyu joins Anna Bowtell, Sophia Derivan and Shauna Heffernan as Ireland seek promotion from the Europe/Africa Group III division.
The official draw takes place on June 14th and teams will compete on a round robin basis in five pools of four teams and one pool of three teams with a total of 23 nations competing, including Ireland.
Connacht’s Heffernan, is also making her debut having been active on the American college circuit, racking up wins on the doubles at Boise State University.
Ball strikers, Bowtell (Rice University) and Derivan (University of Colorado) have also competed this year for their US colleges, consolidating wins throughout the season.
On the men’s Davis Cup team Julian Bradley has had to withdraw because of injury. He will be replaced by 18-year-old Ammar Elamin, who is expected to make his debut for Ireland.