For 21-year-old Paula Ormaechea, Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is still something of a learning experience but as she enters her eight tie for Argentina she is leading her nation back towards the elite World Group.
Argentina begin their 2014 campaign in the second tier of the competition in World Group II where they face a home tie against Japan vying for a place in the World Group play-offs in April.
“I think it’s going to be tight, it’s not going to be easy. They have good players but the good thing is that we are at home with our crowd so hopefully we can win.”
She will be joined in the team by Maria Irigoyen, Florencia Molinero and Catalina Pella keeping together the core of the team that has brought them the nation back up from Americas Zone Group I.
With Argentina having lost their last eight ties away from home in the World Groups Ormaechea is aware of the benefits of home comforts in the competition.
“I think it is very much important, playing on clay and our weather is going to be really hot and of course the crowd. Hopefully we can take advantage of it…We were born in clay so for sure it is better for us…I think the Japanese players should be ready for a really supportive crowd”
Having played their previous three home ties at the infamous Parque Roca venue in Buenos Aires the team have chosen a new venue for this weekend’s home time in Pilara Tennis Club.
“It is a really nice place, it is 40-45 minutes from Buenos Aires…I don’t know what they are going to make exactly but it is a really, really nice place.”
It will be the eighth meeting between the two nations in the competition with Japan currently holding the advantage in the head-to-head having beaten Argentina in the last meeting in Hyogo, Japan three years ago in a 4-0 rout without dropping a set.
With Irigoyen the only member of that Argentinian team nominated again this round, Ormaechea is hopeful that the result will be different this time around: “It was really important to keep the team in World Group II and we are looking forward to trying to make this tie to try and make the play-off to be in the top group.”