Four to represent Jamaica at Billie Jean ChampionshipsThursday, October 21, 2021
TENNIS Jamaica has selected a four-member team to represent the country at the 2021 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Billie Jean Cup Tennis Championships Americas Group Two to be held from October 25 to 30 at the Club de Tenis La Paz in Bolivia.
The Group Two Championships will be contested by countries from the Americas region, Central America, Latin America, and the Caribbean, with the top two advancing to the next round.
The Jamaican team consists of US-based Junmoke James; local-based Shea-Ann Kameka, Katherine Dibbs, and Pauline Hylton; and Head Coach Joel Jones.
Abigail Peru, who was not selected in the play party to tour Bolivia, is a member of the training squad.
Head Coach Joel Jones said that it has been approximately 14 years since Jamaica participated in this competition, formerly known as the Women's Federation (Fed) Cup and the Billie Jean Cup.
The eight countries from the Americas that are participating at the championships are Jamaica, Guatemala, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago (TT), Barbados, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and hosts Bolivia.
The teams are to be divided into two groups of four teams each, with the top two teams from each group playing off against each other for a spot in Group One. Only one team will advance to Group One from the Americas regions, while the bottom-placed team from Group One will be demoted to Group Two.
Speaking on Jamaica's four-member team, Jones thinks that the Jamaicans have a good chance of making it into Group One, still there will be stiff competition from other teams.
According to Coach Jones, US-born James should be the number one player for the team, with Kameka the number two in the singles.
Jamaica are currently ranked 78th in the world and 21st in the Americas. There are several countries ranked higher than Jamaica, such as Guatemala (61st), Trinidad and Tobago (63rd), hosts Bolivia (64th), Dominican Republic (67th), Puerto Rico (80th), and Honduras (85h).
The Jamaican delegation is expected to leave the island on Sunday, with the drawing of the groups and the seeding of teams to be held on Tuesday.
— Gerald Reid