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06 April 2011

World Group nominations announced


NEWS ARTICLE

Photo: Srdjan StevanovicJelena Jankovic (SRB)

The ITF has announced the team nominations for the upcoming Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals, World Group play-offs and World Group II play-offs, taking place on 16-17 April.

 


WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS

 

RUSSIA v ITALY

Venue: Sports Palace Megasport, Moscow, Russia
Surface: Indoor hard

The Italians are the two-time defending Fed Cup champions, but the absence of Flavia Pennetta and reigning Roland Garros winner Francesca Schiavone will make it very difficult for them to keep that run alive.

Corrado Barazzutti will instead have to rely on the services of Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani. Both are ranked inside the top 50, although they have largely played support roles for Italy in recent times.

Russia, on the other hand, has named a strong side that includes world No. 3 Vera Zvonareva and Svetlana Kuznetsova, a former US Open and Roland Garros champion. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Ekaterina Makarova provide significant depth.

Russia
Vera Zvonareva
Svetlana Kuznetsova
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Ekaterina Makarova
Shamil Tarpischev (captain)

Italy
Roberta Vinci
Sara Errani
Alberta Brianti
Maria Elena Camerin
Corrado Barazzutti (captain)

 

BELGIUM v CZECH REPUBLIC

Venue: Spiroudome, Charleroi, Belgium
Surface: Indoor hard

The injured Kim Clijsters has been forced out with shoulder and wrist problems, so Yanina Wickmayer and Kirsten Flipkens are the likely pair to lead the Belgian challenge.

"I think this is a great pity," said Clijsters on her official website. "The Fed Cup is something I was really looking forward to, but I felt that something was out of the ordinary. There were too many minor ailments, one after the other, which did not seem to disappear. Something like that gets into your head."

Czech Republic's strength in depth is impressive. The in-form Petra Kvitova, who has won two titles in 2011 and reached the Australian Open quarterfinals, fills the No. 1 position for the visitors, while Iveta Benesova, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Lucie Hradecka will be vying for the remaining singles spot.

Belgium
Yanina Wickmayer
Kirsten Flipkens
An-Sophie Mestach
Alison van Uytvanck
Sabine Appelmans (captain)

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

 


WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

 

GERMANY v USA

Venue: Porsche Arena, Stuttgart, Germany
Surface: Indoor clay

USA is bidding to maintain its record of having never played outside Fed Cup's top tier, but Mary Joe Fernandez's team will have its work cut out against a strong German side. The Williams sisters miss out once again through injury, as does Bethanie Mattek-Sands, so Melanie Oudin and doubles specialist Liezel Huber are spearheading the attack for the visitors.

Germany's top two players, Andrea Petkovic and Julia Goerges, both ranked higher than their American counterparts, will be hoping to secure an immediate return to the World Group for the hosts after a one-year absence.

"The Germans are a strong young team made up of a very talented group of players," said Fernandez. "Playing on foreign soil is always a difficult task, but our team will be ready to play hard and try to ensure that we can compete for the Fed Cup title once again next year.”

Germany
Andrea Petkovic
Julia Goerges
Sabine Lisicki
Anna Lena Groenefeld
Barbara Rittner (captain)

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

 

SPAIN v FRANCE

Venue: Club de Tenis Lleida, Lleida, Spain
Surface: Outdoor clay

Along with USA, France also has the proud record of having never dropped out of the World Group, and that run will be firmly put to the test against Spain.

France has named world No. 24 Aravane Rezai and alongside Pauline Parmentier, Alize Cornet and Virginie Razzano. The latter pair almost instigated the shock of the round in February when they led Russia 2-0 before eventually slipping to a 3-2 defeat.

Led by top 50 players Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Lordes Dominguez-Lino, Spain is bidding to claim a win over its European neighbour for the first time since 1996.

Spain
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
Lourdes Dominguez-Lino
Anabel Medina Garrigues
Nuria Llagostera Vives
Miguel Margets (captain)

France
Aravane Rezai
Alize Cornet
Virginie Razzano
Pauline Parmentier - replacing Mathilde Johansson
Nicolas Escude (captain)

 

SLOVAK REPUBLIC v SERBIA

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

Slovak Republic and Serbia go head-to-head for the second straight year at this stage of the competition. The Slovaks won 3-2 last season after a deciding fifth rubber, and this clash is shaping up to be just as close with both nations fielding experienced teams.

Dominika Cibulkova and Daniela Hantuchova once again head up the challenge for the hosts, while promising teenager Jana Cepelova has also been given the nod.

Serbia welcomes back both Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic, who missed February's 3-2 win over Canada. Bojana Jovanovski was the star of the show on that occassion, and her efforts were rewarded with a Heart Award for outstanding contributions to the team.

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

Serbia
Jelena Jankovic
Ana Ivanovic
Bojana Jovanovski
Aleksandra Krunic
Dejan Vranes (captain) 

 

AUSTRALIA v UKRAINE

Venue: Glen Iris Valley Recreation Club, Melbourne, Australia
Surface: Outdoor clay

World No. 5 Samantha Stosur isn't available for Australia, but captain David Taylor still possesses a large pool of talent to select from. Jarmila Groth and Anastasia Rodionova look set to fill the singles spots.

"We are obviously disappointed that our No.1 player, Sam, will not be coming home for this tie, but we respect her decision and I have faith in the other girls to get us back to the elite eight," said Taylor.

Ukraine is the underdog for this tie, heightened by the absence of Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko. Lesia Tsurenko and Olga Savchuk have subsequently stepped up to lead the side.

Australia
Jarmila Groth
Anastasia Rodionova
Sophie Ferguson
Sally Peers - replacing Jelena Dokic
David Taylor (captain)

Ukraine
Lesia Tsurenko
Olga Savchuk
Yuliya Beygelzimer
Viktoria Kutuzova
Igor Dernovskyi (captain)

 


WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS

 

BELARUS v ESTONIA

Venue: Palace of Sport, Minsk, Belarus
Surface: Indoor hard

Estonia won the most recent tie between the two nations in 2009, but Belarus is the firm favourite heading into this clash.

Estonia is without top player Kaia Kanepi, leaving the experienced duo of Margit Ruutel and Maret Ani, whose rankings have slipped in recent times, to carry the visiting hopes.

Belarus, meanwhile, is led by world No. 5 Victoria Azarenka, who comes into the tie fresh from winning the WTA Premier event in Miami, where her victims included Kim Clijsters, Vera Zvonareva and Maria Sharapova.

Belarus
Victoria Azarenka
Olga Govortsova
Darya Kustova
Tatiana Poutchek
Sergei Teterin (captain)

Estonia
Maret Ani
Margit Ruutel
Anett Kontaveit
Eva Paalma - replacing Kaia Kanepi
Andrei Luzgin (captain)

 

SLOVENIA v CANADA

Venue: Teniski Klub Koper, Slovenia
Surface: Outdoor clay

This is a first meeting between the two nations and it looks finely balanced with neither holding a big edge in the rankings stakes.

Polona Hercog heads up Slovenia's challenge, while former top 20 player Katarina Srebotnik provides the experienced head that could be crucial if the tie goes the distance.

Rebecca Marino, the world No. 58, is the highest ranked player in the tie and the Canadians will be hoping she can make that advantage count.

Slovenia
Polona Hercog
Masa Zec-Peskiric
Andreja Klepac
Katarina Srebotnik
Iztok Bozic (captain)

Canada
Rebecca Marino
Stephanie Dubois
Sharon Fichman
Eugenie Bouchard
Sylvain Bruneau (captain)

 

SWITZERLAND v SWEDEN

Venue: TC Lido Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland
Surface: Outdoor clay

Switzerland is bidding for promotion after a two year absence. Sweden,on the other hand, is attempting to avoid an immediate return to Zone Group I.

Neither team enjoys wide strength in depth, so the tie will more than likely be decided by the battles between the top two players from each nation.

The vastly experienced Patty Schnyder still leads the way for Switzerland alongside Timea Bacsinszky, while Sweden relies on Johanna Larsson and Sofia Arvidsson. All four players are ranked in the top 100.

Switzerland
Patty Schnyder
Timea Bacsinszky
Stefanie Voegele
Amra Sadikovic
Christiane Jolissaint (captain)

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

 

JAPAN v ARGENTINA

Venue: Bourbon Beans Dome, Kobe, Japan
Surface: Indoor hard

The ITF announced on 21 March that, due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, this tie would be postponed until 16-17 July.

“In light of these dreadful and exceptional circumstances, we felt it was important to give the JTA the opportunity still to host the tie and for Fed Cup to play its very small part in the healing process of a nation. We are grateful to both nations, Japan and Argentina, for their cooperation," said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.

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RUS Flag Russia v Italy ITA Flag 16-17 Apr 2011 View details

BEL Flag Belgium v Czech Republic CZE Flag 16-17 Apr 2011 View details

GER Flag Germany v USA USA Flag 16-17 Apr 2011 View details

ESP Flag Spain v France FRA Flag 16-17 Apr 2011 View details

SVK Flag Slovak Republic v Serbia SRB Flag 16-17 Apr 2011 View details

AUS Flag Australia v Ukraine UKR Flag 16-17 Apr 2011 View details

BLR Flag Belarus v Estonia EST Flag 16-17 Apr 2011 View details

SLO Flag Slovenia v Canada CAN Flag 16-17 Apr 2011 View details

SUI Flag Switzerland v Sweden SWE Flag 16-17 Apr 2011 View details

JPN Flag Japan v Argentina ARG Flag 16-17 Jul 2011 View details

  • More photos

    • Jelena Jankovic (SRB)Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
    • Lucie Safarova (CZE)Vera Zvonareva (RUS)
    • Andrea Petkovic (GER)Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)
    • Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA)Alize Cornet (FRA)
     
 
 

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