The teams have been announced for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final between USA and Italy, taking place in San Diego on 6-7 November.
USA: Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Melanie Oudin, Coco Vandeweghe, Liezel Huber
Italy: Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta, Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani
Mary Joe Fernandez, who is the first American captain to lead the side to successive Finals in her first two years in charge, has named the core team of Mattek-Sands, Oudin and Huber alongside debutante Vandeweghe.
Mattek-Sands and Oudin have both recorded important singles wins during the campaign, while doubles specialist Huber has provided the side with much-needed experience.
“Melanie, Liezel and Bethanie have repeatedly answered the call to play for their country and have together led the US to its second consecutive Fed Cup Final,” said Fernandez.
“We also are bringing on up-and-comer Coco, who is playing the best tennis of her young career, including a win this summer over Vera Zvonareva. The team is extremely motivated to try and win the Fed Cup for the US for the first time in ten years.”
Corrado Barazzutti has the luxury of nominating an unchanged team for the sixth straight tie. The Italian captain has elected for the experienced line-up of Schiavone, Pennetta, Vinci and Errani.
Schiavone won her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros earlier this year, while Pennetta became the first Italian female ever to be ranked inside the world’s Top 10 when she reached the milestone in 2009.
The two players have been the driving force behind Italy’s recent Fed Cup dominance, with the team now chasing back-to-back triumphs for the first time.
Vinci, who is unbeaten in Fed Cup doubles play, and Errani are both ranked higher than any of the Americans and provide excellent support for Schiavone and Pennetta.
This tie is a repeat of last year’s Final in Reggio Calabria, when Italy eased to a 4-0 victory outdoors on clay. USA has home advantage this time and has selected an indoor hard court at the San Diego Sports Arena.