World Group action starts in

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10 April 2013

Williams, Kvitova, Kerber lead Fed Cup nominations


NEWS ARTICLE

Photo: Andrii RomaniukSerena Williams (USA)

World Group semifinals

Italy v Czech Republic
Venue: Circolo del Tennis Palermo, Palermo, Italy (clay – outdoors)

Italy will field the same team that fell to Czech Republic in the 2012 semifinals when they take on the defending champions in Palermo. Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta return for the three-time champions after missing Italy’s 3-2 first round win over USA in February, while Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, the world’s top-ranked doubles pairing, are sure to have a key role to play in the semfinals. Vinci is the Fed Cup record holder for the most number of doubles ties won without defeat with 18, and Corrado Barazzutti’s team will hope she can further extend that record. Italy is bidding to inflict Czech Republic’s first Fed Cup defeat since April 2010 and progress to its fifth Fed Cup final in eight years.

Captain Petr Pala makes one change to the Czech team that defeated Australia 4-0 in the first round in Ostrava, bringing in Klara Zakopalova in place of Andrea Hlavackova. The world doubles No. 4 has never lost a Fed Cup doubles rubber and the change means the defending champions line up against Italy with three singles players ranked inside the top 25.

Italy: Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci, Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta. Captain: Corrado Barazzutti

Czech Republic: Petra Kvitova, Klara Zakopalova, Lucie Safarova, Lucie Hradecka. Captain: Petr Pala

Russia v Slovak Republic
Venue: Sports Center Krylatskoye, Moscow, RUS (clay – indoors)

Slovak Republic are unchanged from the team that defeated Serbia 3-2 in the World Group first round. Matej Liptak’s side are aiming to secure a place in their first final since winning their lone Fed Cup title in 2002. Dominika Cibulkova, in particular, will hope for an improved Fed Cup experience in the semifinals after collapsing with cramp and retiring while leading Vesna Dolonc 64 54 in the first round. The visitors will hope to utilise the experience of Daniela Hantuchova, who has a 29-12 singles record in her 26 career Fed Cup ties, as they target a first win over Russia having suffered 3-2 defeats in 1999 and 2001.  

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova returns for Russia for the first time since the four-time champions' suffered defeat to Serbia in the 2012 semifinals in the only change to the Russia squad that defeated Japan 3-2 in the first round. Maria Kirilenko plays the fourth Fed Cup tie of her career, while Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina will hope to play their part in another win after sending Russia into the semifinals by winning the deciding doubles against Japan in their first round encounter.

Russia: Maria Kirilenko, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Ekaterina Makarova, Elena Vesnina, Captain: Shamil Tarpischev
Slovak Republic: Dominika Cibulkova, Magdalena Rybarikova, Daniela Hantuchova, Jana Cepelova. Captain: Matej Liptak

World Group play-offs

Germany v Serbia
Venue: Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany, GER (clay – indoors)

Germany has flaunted its intent to bounce straight back into the top tier of the competition by naming a strong team for its upcoming World Group play-off against Serbia at home in Stuttgart. World No. 6 Angelique Kerber returns for Barbara Rittner’s team after missing out on their first round victory over France with a back injury, while world No. 28 Mona Barthel comes in for her Fed Cup debut. Anna-Lena Groenefeld comes in as a late replacement for Julia Goerges.

The return of Ana Ivanovic, who won her team’s only point in last year’s Fed Cup by BNP Paribas final in Prague, is a huge boost for Serbia. The former world No. 1 comes in to replace No. 746 Ivana Jorovic in a team otherwise unchanged from its 3-2 defeat to Slovak Republic in Nis in the first round.

Germany
: Angelique Kerber, Mona Barthel, Sabine Lisicki, Anna-Lena Groenefeld. Captain: Barbara Rittner
Serbia: Ana Ivanovic, Bojana Jovanovski, Vesna Dolonc, Aleksandra Krunic. Captain: Dejan Vranes

Switzerland v Australia
Venue: Tennis Club Chiasso, Chiasso-Seseglio, SUI (clay – outdoors)

Switzerland and Australia will both field unchanged teams from their February Fed Cup encounters. Romina Oprandi will hope for another big performance after starring on her debut for Switzerland in the World Group II first round with two singles wins in their 4-1 victory over Belgium in Bern.  

Australia lost its opening World Group tie against defending champions Czech Republic, and Alicia Molik will hope her team of Sam Stosur, Jarmila Gajdosova , Casey Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty can prevent them from slipping back into World Group II.

Switzerland
: Romina Oprandi, Stefanie Voegele, Timea Bacsinszky, Amra Sadikovic. Captain: Heinz Guenthardt
Australia: Samantha Stosur, Jarmila Gajdosova, Casey Dellacqua, Ashleigh Barty. Captain: Alicia Molik

Spain v Japan
Venue: Real Club de Polo, Barcelona, ESP (clay – outdoors)

Japan makes one change from the team that lost 3-2 to Russia in the World Group first round, with 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm replaced by 25-year-old Fed Cup debutant Shuko Ayoyama.

Spain makes two changes to the team that defeated Ukraine 3-1 in Alicante, with world No. 19 Carla Suarez Navarro returning for Spain and No. 72 Lara Arruabarrena making her Fed Cup debut.

Spain: Carla Suarez Navarro, Lourdes Dominguez Lino, Silvia Soler-Espinosa, Lara Arruabarrena. Captain: Conchita Martinez.
Japan: Ayumi Morita, Misaki Doi, Kurumi Nara, Shuko Aoyama. Captain: Takeshi Murakami.

USA v Sweden
Venue: Delray Beach Tennis Center, Delray Beach, USA (hard – outdoors)

Serena and Venus Williams will play in the same Fed Cup team for the first time since February 2012, when USA defeated 5-0 in the World Group II first round, when Mary Joe Fernandez’s side take on Sweden in the World Group play-offs. Sloane Stephens also plays after missing USA’s World Group first round tie against Italy due to injury, meaning USA’s top-four ranked singles players comprise the line-up for the tie at Delray Beach. The trio’s return sees Jamie Hampton, Melanie Oudin and Liezel Huber, who were all part of USA’s 3-2 defeat to the three-time champions in Rimini, miss out.

USA
: Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams, Varvara Lepchenko. Captain: Mary Joe Fernandez
Sweden: Sofia Arvidsson, Johanna Larsson, Hilda Melander, Sandra Roma. Captain: Lars-Anders Wahlgren

World Group II play-offs

Belgium v Poland
Venue:
Tennisclub Koksijde, Koksijde, BEL (hard – indoors)

World No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska leads Belgium’s hopes of securing a place in World Group II for the first time since February 2010. Poland, incidentally lost to Belgium on its last outing in the second tier of the competition three years ago as Yanina Wickmayer scored two wins in a 3-2 victory on Polish soil, but the world No. 35 is absent for this tie with Kirsten Flipkens shouldering the burden for the hosts. Flipkens lost her only other Fed Cup meeting with Radwanska in straight sets and, given the Krakow native’s dominant 27-6 singles record in the competition, the visitors will fancy their chances in Koksijde.

Belgium: Kirsten Flipkens, Alison Van Uytvanck, An-Sophie Mestach, Ysaline Bonaventure. Captain: Ann Devries
Poland: Agnieszka Radwanska, Urszula Radwanska, Katarzyna Piter, Alicja Rosolska. Captain: Tomasz Wiktorowski

France v Kazakhstan
Venue: Palais des Sports de Besancon, Besancon, FRA (hard – indoors)

Marion Bartoli is in line to make her first Fed Cup appearance since 2004 after a bout of flu postponed her long-awaited return to the competition in France’s World Group II first round defeat to Germany. The world No. 14 will be joined by 19-year-old Carloine Garcia, who could be in line to make her Fed Cup debut for Amelie Mauresmo’s team, with the two displacing Virginie Razzano and Pauline Parmentier.

Kazakhstan names an unchanged side from the four that put them into the World Group II play-offs for the first time in February after a four-year spell in Asia/Oceania Zone Group I. The only change for the visitors is that of their captain, with Dias Doskarayev, also the Davis Cup captain, replacing Yuriy Karlov.

France: Marion Bartoli, Alize Cornet, Kristina Mladenovic, Caroline Garcia, Captain: Amelie Mauresmo.
Kazakhstan:
Yaroslava Shvedova, Ksenia Pervak, Galina Voskoboeva, Sesil Karatantcheva.
Captain: Dias Doskarayev.

Argentina v Great Britain
Venue: Parque Roca, Buenos Aires, ARG (clay – outdoors)

Elena Baltacha returns to Judy Murray’s Great Britain squad on her comeback from foot surgery, replacing Heather Watson who is recovering from Glandular Fever.  

Argentina, meanwhile, is unchanged from the team that squandered a 2-0 lead against Sweden in the World Group II first round.

Argentina
: Paula Ormaechea, Maria Irigoyen, Florencia Molinero, Mailen Auroux. Captain: Bettina Fulco
Great Britain: Laura Robson, Johanna Konta, Anne Keothavong, Elena Baltacha. Captain: Judy Murray

Ukraine v Canada
Venue: Sport Club Meridian, Kiev, UKR (clay – indoors)

Ukraine and Canada both name unchanged sides from February’s Fed Cup ties. Eugenie Bouchard leads the line for Canada after the Montreal native climbed to No. 95 in the world following her run to the quarterfinals in Charleston. The 18-year-old Montreal-native has a 5-1 Fed Cup singles record for Canada and will hope to play her part as Canada seeks a return to World Group II after suffering relegation in 2011.

Ukraine, who featured in the World Group last year, is aiming to avoid a return to Europe/Africa Zone Group I for the first time since 2007, with world No. 70 Lesia Tsurenko heading Igor Dernovskyi's team. 

Ukraine: Lesia Tsurenko, Elina Svitolina, Yuliya Beygelzimer, Kateryna Kozlova. Captain: Igor Dernovskyi.
Canada:
Eugenie Bouchard, Sharon Fichman, Stephanie Dubois, Gabriela Dabrowski. Captain: Sylvain Bruneau

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Related ties

ITA Flag Italy v Czech Republic CZE Flag 20-21 Apr 2013 View details

RUS Flag Russia v Slovak Republic SVK Flag 20-21 Apr 2013 View details

GER Flag Germany v Serbia SRB Flag 20-21 Apr 2013 View details

SUI Flag Switzerland v Australia AUS Flag 20-21 Apr 2013 View details

ESP Flag Spain v Japan JPN Flag 20-21 Apr 2013 View details

USA Flag USA v Sweden SWE Flag 20-21 Apr 2013 View details

BEL Flag Belgium v Poland POL Flag 20-21 Apr 2013 View details

FRA Flag France v Kazakhstan KAZ Flag 20-21 Apr 2013 View details

ARG Flag Argentina v Great Britain GBR Flag 20-21 Apr 2013 View details

UKR Flag Ukraine v Canada CAN Flag 20-21 Apr 2013 View details

 
 

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