Tennis / E-mail Exchange Spurs Possible Indonesian Visit

Indonesia, with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations, informed the Israel Tennis Federation of willingness to hold Fed Cup Women's clash in Israel.

Indonesian tennis officials have until tomorrow to inform the International Tennis Federation if their Fed Cup team will come to Israel for its clash against Israel's women.

Israel is scheduled to host the encounter on July 15 and 16.

Initially, the Indonesians asked for the clash to be moved to a neutral venue since the two countries do not maintain diplomatic relations. A few days ago, however, Israel Tennis Federation president Ian Froman received an e-mail from his Indonesian counterpart, Sobronto Laras indicating a possible change of heart. "According to the ITF draw, we, the Indonesian team, are supposed to be playing Israel in the playoffs... and you won the right to select the venue for the encounter," Laras wrote.

"We do not have diplomatic relations with your country, such that if we are required to play in Israel, can you ensure that our team is able to gain entry into Israel, and guarantee our personal safety?" the official asked.

Froman responded positively to the Indonesian request. "We will warmly welcome the Indonesian tennis team to Israel in July," Froman replied. "I can promise you a wonderful visit and reception. We will take care of your security, transportation, and the team will be put up in a five-star hotel. The match will take place at a fine facility in the Tel Aviv area.

"We hope you accept our invitation and that a sporting encounter of this kind strengthens the friendship and ties between us."