The rivalry between Italy and USA stretches all the way back to the very first edition of Fed Cup competition in 1963 when USA stormed to a 3-0 victory. They went on to win all of the first nine meetings between the two nations but Italy have had the better of it more recently beating the Americans in the Final two years running in 2009 and 2010.
Italy lost the top ranking spot in Fed Cup when they were defeated 4-1 in last year’s semifinal against Czech Republic in Ostrava. It was the second consecutive year that they were defeated at the semifinal stage.
With the return of the Williams sisters to Fed Cup action in 2012 the USA had a perfect season gaining promotion back to the World Group with back-to-back whitewashes against Belarus and Ukraine. Christina McHale also put an end to her run without a victory in the competition notching four straight singles rubbers.