The 2013 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final is a clash between two of the most dominant nations in the competition over the last decade as Italy plays host to Russia in a tie which is scheduled to take place on 2-3 November.
The Italians are through to their fifth final in eight years after seeing off the challenge of defending champion Czech Republic in a rain-delayed semifinal in Palermo. Roberta Vinci answered her country's call to win both of her singles rubbers, eventually clinching victory on the Monday with a thrilling win over Lucie Safarova.
In their last four appearances in the final, Italy has been crowned champion three times (2006, 2009-10), with their only loss coming against Russia in Moscow in 2007.
Russia is through to a sixth final in 10 years but is looking to win its first Fed Cup title since 2008. The Eastern European tennis powerhouse dominated the competition between 2004 and 2008, winning four titles including that victory over Italy in 2007.
The Russians created history in the World Group semifinal against Slovak Republic this year by becoming the first nation to come back from 0-2 down to win a semifinal since the inception of the World Group in 1995. Ekaterina Makarova proved her mettle to win the fourth and fifth rubbers for a second consecutive tie having also done so against Japan in the first round this year.
Russia and Italy are currently fifth and sixth respectively on the honour roll for the number of Fed Cup titles won (both nations having won all of their titles since 2004) and should the Italians triumph on home soil they will level Russia on four titles.