Fed Cup Final starts in



25 January 2012

World Group team nominations


Photo: Daniel MaurerVictoria Azarenka (BLR)

The ITF has announced the official team nominations for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and World Group II first round ties, to be played on 4-5 February.

World Group first round 

Russia v Spain

Venue: Olympic Stadium
Location: Moscow, Russia
Surface: Indoor hard

With ten players currently ranked inside the Top 100, Russian captain Shamil Tarpischev has a wealth of talent at his disposal and for this tie he’s selected Maria Sharapova to lead the singles line-up alongside the dependable Svetlana Kuznetsova. Sharapova showed that she’s back to her best during her fine run at the Australian Open.

Tarpischev’s opposite number, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, who became one of the most decorated ever Fed Cup players during the 1990s when she led Spain to five titles, takes charge of her first tie having stepped into the shoes of long-term servant Miguel Margets. The new captain has a difficult first assignment as she is missing her top two players, Anabel Medina Garrigues and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

These two nations are meeting for the seventh time with Russia holding a 5-1 lead in their head-to-head series. The Russians have won the last two fixtures, in 2007 and 2008, but before that their three previous wins came when they played under the combined Soviet Union flag. Spain’s lone victory was in 1989.

Maria Sharapova
Svetlana Kuznetsova
Nadia Petrova
Ekaterina Makarova
Shamil Tarpischev (captain)

Carla Suarez Navarro
Arantxa Parra-Santonja
Nuria Llagostera Vives
Silvia Soler-Espinosa - replacing Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (captain)

Belgium v Serbia

Venue: Spiroudome
Location: Charleroi, Belgium
Surface: Indoor hard

Belgium are without the services of Kim Clijsters, so the responsibility falls on the experienced duo of Yanina Wickmayer and Kirsten Flipkens to spearhead the home team’s challenge. Youngsters Tamaryn Hendler and Alison Van Uytvanck could also feature in what will be Belgium’s fourth straight home tie, and their second in a row at the Spiroudome in Charleroi.

Jelena Jankovic fronts Serbia’s bid to win their first ever World Group tie. Ana Ivanovic is a notable absentee for the visitors so Bojana Jovanovski, a Fed Cup Heart Award recipient in 2011, is expected to step up into the singles line-up. Serbia’s last four ties have all been decided in the fifth doubles rubber, and this one is shaping up to be just as close.

Belgium and Serbia have never previously met. However, players from Serbia used to compete under the combined flag of Yugoslavia, and Belgium and Yugoslavia have faced each other on two occasions. The Belgians won both times, in 1975 and 1991.

Yanina Wickmayer
Kirsten Flipkens
Tamaryn Hendler
Alison Van Uytvanck
Ann Devries (captain)

Jelena Jankovic
Bojana Jovanovski
Aleksandra Krunic
Natalija Kostic
Dejan Vranes (captain)

Italy v Ukraine

Venue: Lauretana Forum
Location: Biella, Italy
Surface: Indoor clay

Italy, three-time Fed Cup champions in recent years, have made a statement of intent by naming a full strength team to face Ukraine. Francesca Schiavone, a former Roland Garros winner, and Flavia Pennetta are the two top ranked players for the hosts, but the form of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci on the singles court provide more options if required.

Kateryna Bondarenko, who at No. 88 is Ukraine’s only Top 100 player, will need to be at the top of her game if the visitors are to have a chance of an upset. Her older sister, Alona, is still missing after undergoing knee surgery, leaving Lesia Tsurenko as the team’s No. 2 player.

Italy possess an unbeaten 3-0 win-loss record against Ukraine. The Italians won their first meeting in 1997 and followed this up with further victories in 2008 and 2010. The latest of these ties, in Kharkiv, was also a World Group first round clash.

Francesca Schiavone
Flavia Pennetta
Sara Errani
Roberta Vinci
Corrado Barazzutti (captain)

Kateryna Bondarenko
Lesia Tsurenko
Olga Savchuk
Yuliya Beygelzimer
Igor Dernovskyi (captain)

Germany v Czech Republic

Venue: Porsche Arena
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Surface: Indoor hard

Germany are without the charismatic Andrea Petkovic, who misses out with a recurring back injury, leaving the in-form Sabine Lisicki as the team leader for this tie. Women’s tennis in Germany has undergone somewhat of a revolution in recent times and, despite the absence of the world No. 10, captain Barbara Rittner still has a further two Top 30 players waiting in the wings, Julia Goerges and Angelique Kerber.

Three months after lifting the Fed Cup trophy for the first time in over 20 years, Czech Republic are back in action as they begin their title defence with this tricky away tie. The important team news for the reigning champions is that Petra Kvitova, one of the best players in the world right now, is fit and ready.

Germany and Czech Republic are facing each for the seventh time. The Czechs won their most recent meeting in 2010, which extended their overall head-to-head advantage over the Germans to 5-1. However, four of their six ties took place when the two nations played under the former flags of West Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Sabine Lisicki
Julia Goerges
Angelique Kerber
Anna Lena Groenefeld
Barbara Rittner (captain)

Czech Republic
Petra Kvitova
Iveta Benesova
Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova
Lucie Hradecka
Petr Pala (captain)

World Group II first round 

USA v Belarus

Venue: DCU Center
Location: Worcester, MA, USA
Surface: Indoor hard

Serena Williams
Christina McHale
Venus Williams
Liezel Huber
Mary Joe Fernandez (captain)

Victoria Azarenka
Anastasiya Yakimova
Olga Govortsova
Darya Kustova
Tatiana Poutchek (captain)

Japan v Slovenia

Venue: Bourbon Beans Dome
Location: Hyogo, Japan
Surface: Indoor hard

Ayumi Morita
Kimiko Date Krumm
Kurumi Nara
Rika Fujiwara
Takeshi Murakami (captain)

Polona Hercog
Petra Rampre
Nastja Kolar
Andreja Klepac
Maja Matevzic (captain)

Slovak Republic v France

Venue: Aegon Arena
Location: Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Surface: Indoor hard

Slovak Republic
Dominika Cibulkova
Daniela Hantuchova
Magdalena Rybarikova
Jana Cepelova
Matej Liptak (captain)

Pauline Parmentier
Virginie Razzano
Alize Cornet
Kristina Mladenovic - replacing Aravane Rezai
Nicolas Escude (captain)

Switzerland v Australia

Venue: Forum Fribourg
Location: Fribourg, Switzerland
Surface: Indoor clay

Stefanie Voegele
Amra Sadikovic
Timea Bacsinszky
Belinda Bencic
Christiane Jolissaint (captain)

Samantha Stosur
Jarmila Gajdosova
Jelena Dokic
Casey Dellacqua
David Taylor (captain)

The official team nominations for the upcoming Zone Group I events were announced a fortnight ago. Among the players scheduled to compete are China's Li Na and Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, both ranked inside the world's Top 10.

- Zone Group I team nominations 

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RUS Flag Russia v Spain ESP Flag 4 Feb 2012 - 5 Feb 2012 View details

BEL Flag Belgium v Serbia SRB Flag 4 Feb 2012 - 5 Feb 2012 View details

ITA Flag Italy v Ukraine UKR Flag 4 Feb 2012 - 5 Feb 2012 View details

GER Flag Germany v Czech Republic CZE Flag 4 Feb 2012 - 5 Feb 2012 View details

USA Flag USA v Belarus BLR Flag 4 Feb 2012 - 5 Feb 2012 View details

JPN Flag Japan v Slovenia SLO Flag 4 Feb 2012 - 5 Feb 2012 View details

SVK Flag Slovakia v France FRA Flag 4 Feb 2012 - 5 Feb 2012 View details

SUI Flag Switzerland v Australia AUS Flag 4 Feb 2012 - 5 Feb 2012 View details

  • More photos

    • Victoria Azarenka (BLR)Petra Kvitova (CZE)
    • Serena Williams (USA)Maria Sharapova (RUS)
    • Francesca Schiavone (ITA)Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
    • Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
    • Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)

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