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26 January 2011

World Group nominations announced


NEWS ARTICLE

Kim Clijsters (BEL)

The ITF has announced the team nominations for the upcoming Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and World Group II first round ties, taking place on 5-6 February.



WORLD GROUP FIRST ROUND


AUSTRALIA v ITALY

Venue: Domain Tennis Centre, Hobart, Australia
Surface: Outdoor hard

Australia is making its first appearance in the World Group since 2004 and goes into this clash with the defending champions on an eight tie winning streak.

Samantha Stosur is the key player for the hosts and may well be called upon to play three rubbers if the tie goes the distance. Jarmila Groth and Anastasia Rodionova are recent additions to the team having both gained Australian citizenship at the end of 2009, while doubles specialist Rennae Stubbs begins her 17th Fed Cup campaign.

Italy is bidding to become the first nation since Spain in the mid-1990s to win three successive Fed Cup titles, and captain Corrado Barazzutti has once again named the same four players that are responsible for this success, led by reigning Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone.

Australia enters the tie with an unbeaten record against Italy. In fact, the Aussies have never even lost a rubber in their five previous meetings. The two nations have competed in ever Fed Cup since the competition began in 1963.

Australia
Samantha Stosur
Jarmila Groth
Anastasia Rodionova
Rennae Stubbs
David Taylor (captain)

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


RUSSIA v FRANCE

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

Russia, a four-time Fed Cup champion, has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to picking its team, with 15 players currently ranked inside the world’s Top 100. For this tie, captain Shamil Tarpischev has included two past Grand Slam champions in his line-up, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Sharapova is making her first Fed Cup appearance since 2008, while Kuznetsova played in last year’s World Group first round against Serbia. Former world No. 1 Dinara Safina has also been nominated.

France faces an uphill battle made even more difficult by the absence of the nation’s highest ranked players, Marion Bartoli and Aravane Rezai, leaving Alize Cornet as the team’s No. 1 for this fixture.

Russia has won the most recent two ties between the nations, but France triumphed on its last visit to the Olympic Stadium in 2003, a 3-2 victory that set up a title-winning campaign.

Russia
Maria Sharapova
Svetlana Kuznetsova
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Dinara Safina
Shamil Tarpischev (captain)

France
Alize Cornet
Virginie Razzano
Pauline Parmentier
Julie Coin
Nicolas Escude (captain)


SLOVAK REPUBLIC v CZECH REPUBLIC

Venue: Sibamac Arena, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Surface: Indoor hard

Slovak Republic and Czech Republic played under the combined flag of Czechoslovakia until 1994, but now the two independent nations find themselves facing each other for the fourth time. The Czechs lead the series 3-0.

The experienced duo of Daniela Hantuchova and Dominika Cibulkova spearhead the Slovak challenge, having led their nation back to the World Group for the first time since 2004.

The visitors are led by Petra Kvitova, fresh from a quarterfinal finish at the Australian Open. Czech Republic reached the last four of Fed Cup in 2009 and 2010, but will be hoping to go all the way to the Final this time.

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

Czech Republic
Petra Kvitova
Lucie Safarova
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
Kveta Peschke
Petr Pala (captain)


BELGIUM
v USA

Venue: Sportpaleis Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
Surface: Indoor hard

Belgium goes into this tie as favourites despite USA reaching back-to-back finals in the last two years and leading the Belgians 5-1 in their previous meetings.

Three-time US Open winner Kim Clijsters heads up a strong Belgian side that also includes Yanina Wickmayer and Kirsten Flipkens, while An-Sophie Mestach comes in to replace the injured Justine Henin, who announced her retirement on Wednesday with a career-ending elbow problem.

USA is without the injured Williams sisters, so Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Melanie Oudin once again lead the attack for the visitors. Vania King and Liezel Huber provide the team with added doubles expertise.

Both Belgium and USA are former Fed Cup champions. The Belgians won the title for the only time in 2001, while the Americans have claimed a record 17 victories, although their last triumph was back in 2000.

Belgium
Kim Clijsters
Yanina Wickmayer
Kirsten Flipkens
An-Sophie Mestach (replacing Justine Henin)
Sabine Appelmans (captain)

USA
Bethanie Mattek-Sands
Melanie Oudin
Vania King
Liezel Huber
Mary Joe Fernandez (captain)



WORLD GROUP II FIRST ROUND


ESTONIA
v SPAIN

Venue: Tere Tennis Club, Tallinn, Estonia
Surface: Indoor hard

Estonia
Kaia Kanepi
Maret Ani
Margit Ruutel
Anett Kontaveit
Andrei Luzgin (captain)

Spain
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
Carla Suarez Navarro
Anabel Medina Garrigues
Nuria Llagostera Vives
Miguel Margets (captain)


SLOVENIA
v GERMANY

Venue: Ljudski vrt Sports Hall, Maribor, Slovenia
Surface: Indoor clay

Slovenia
Polona Hercog
Masa Zec-Peskiric
Katarina Srebotnik
Tjasa Srimpf
Iztok Bozic (captain)

Germany
Andrea Petkovic
Julia Goerges
Tatjana Malek
Anna-Lena Groenefeld
Barbara Rittner (captain)


SERBIA
v CANADA

Venue: Spens Sports Center, Novi Sad, Serbia
Surface: Indoor hard

Serbia
Bojana Jovanovski
Ana Jovanovic
Alexsandra Krunic
Tamara Curovic
Dejan Vranes (captain)

Canada
Rebecca Marino
Aleksandra Wozniak
Marie-Eve Pelletier
Sharon Fichman (replacing Stephanie Dubois)
Sylvain Bruneau (captain)


SWEDEN
v UKRAINE

Venue: Idrottens Hus, Helsingborg, Sweden
Surface: Hard indoor

Sweden
Sofia Arvidsson
Johanna Larsson
Anna Brazhnikova
Sandra Roma
Maria Strandlund Tomsvik (captain)

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

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Related ties

AUS Flag Australia v Italy ITA Flag 5-6 Feb 2011 View details

RUS Flag Russia v France FRA Flag 5-6 Feb 2011 View details

SVK Flag Slovakia v Czech Republic CZE Flag 5-6 Feb 2011 View details

BEL Flag Belgium v USA USA Flag 5-6 Feb 2011 View details

EST Flag Estonia v Spain ESP Flag 5-6 Feb 2011 View details

SLO Flag Slovenia v Germany GER Flag 5-6 Feb 2011 View details

SRB Flag Serbia v Canada CAN Flag 5-6 Feb 2011 View details

SWE Flag Sweden v Ukraine UKR Flag 5-6 Feb 2011 View details

  • More photos

    • Kim Clijsters (BEL)Maria Sharapova (RUS)
    • Samantha Stosur (AUS)Francesca Schiavone (ITA)
     
 
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