(Eds: With AP Photos.) By RAF CASERT AP Sports Writer Not so long ago, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin were dominating women's tennis and turning little Belgium into a force.
Now, Belgium is facing the prospect of dropping into the third tier of the Fed Cup because the federation is unwilling - or unable - to pay for the surface its players prefer.
Against Poland in the World Group II playoffs, Belgium chose to play on an indoor hardcourt when its players are gearing up for the red clay season in Europe. The switch for one weekend did not sit well.
''We are preparing for clay and Belgium says hardcourt,'' said Rudi Kuyl, the spokesman for Yanina Wickmayer, who confirmed Tuesday that she won't play against Poland.
Kirsten Flipkens, ranked No. 23 and Belgium's current top player, waited until the last moment before making her decision Tuesday for the April 20-21 best-of-five series.
''Confirmation : i DO play fed cup,'' she said on Twitter, adding its wasn't an easy decision.