This weekend (20th-21st April) the FedCup is back in action, with 8 of the world’s top 20 showing their colours and supporting their nation in the highly anticipated team tennis event.
France, Romania, Australia and Belarus headline the action as they battle it out for a place in the World Group final.
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Photo: BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 19: Austalian Captain Alicia Molik, Priscilla Hon, Daria Gavrilova, Samantha Stosur and Ashleigh Barty pose during Official Fed Cup draw for the Fed Cup World Group Semi Final Australia v Belarus media opportunity at at Emporium Hotel on April 19, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Two-time Champions, France are hoping to reach the Fed Cup Final for the sixth time. They have nominated Caroline Garcia, Pauline Parmentier, Alize Cornet, Kristina Mladenovic and Fiona Ferro. This team, along with captain Julien Benneteau will be hosting Romania in Kinarena, Rouen, France, and they will play on an indoor clay surface. Team Romania overcame the defending champions Czech Republic to equal their best Fed Cup showing since 1973, having also made the semis that year. Romania will be represented by world no. 2 Simona Halep, Mihaela Burzarnescu, Irina-Camelia Begu, Monica Niculescu, Raluca Olaru and captain Florin Segarceanu.
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Photo: France’s team players (LtoR) Pauline Parmentier, Caroline Garcia, Alize Cornet, Kristina Mladenovic and Fiona Ferro, celebrate with a French flag after France’s Caroline Garcia won against Belgium’s Elise Mertens, at the end of the Fed Cup World Group first round quarter final tennis match on day two, between France and Belgium, in Liege on February 10, 2019. (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP) (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Australia are back in the World Group semifinals for the first time since 2014. World no. 9 Ashleigh Barty, Daria Gavrilova, Samantha Stosur, Priscilla Hon and captain Alicia Molik will be hosting the Belarusian team, consisting of Aryna Sabalenka the world no. 10, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, former world no. 1 Victoria Azarenka, Vera Lapko, Lidziya Marozava and captain Tatiana Poutchek. The tie will take place on the hard court of Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane, Australia.
In the World Group Play-Offs, the Czech Republic will take on Canada, USA will play Switzerland, Latvia will play Germany and Belgium will take on Spain. The ties are as follows:
Czech Republic v Canada
Venue: National Tennis Centre, Prostejov, Czech Republic
Surface: Indoor, Clay
Czech Republic Team Nominations: Marketa Vondrousova, Karolina Muchova, Marie Bouzkova, Lucie Safarova, Barbora Krejcikova and captain Petr Pala.
Canada Team Nominations: Rebecca Marino, Leylah Annie Fernandez, Gabriela Dabrowski, Sharon Fichman and captain Heidi El Tabakh.
USA v Switzerland
Venue: Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, USA
Surface: Indoor, Hard
USA Team Nominations: World no. 8 Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Sofia Kenin, Jessica Pegula, Jennifer Brady, and captain Kathy Rinaldi.
Switzerland Team Nominations: Viktorija Golubic, Timea Bacsinszky, Conny Perrin, Ylena In-Albon, and captain Heinz Guenthardt.
Latvia v Germany (19th-20th April)
Venue: Arena Riga, Riga, Latvia
Surface, Indoor, Hard
Latvia Team Nominations: Jelena Ostapenko, Diana Marcinkevica, Daniela Vismane, Partricija Spaka and captain Adrians Zguns.
Germany Team Nominations: Julia Goerges, Andrea Petkovic, Mona Barthel, Anna-Lenna Groenefeld, and Captain Jens Gerlach (World no. 5, Angelique Kerber was nominated but a flu forced her to withdraw, so Barthel was added to the team).
Belgium v Spain
Venue: Lange Munte Kortrijk, Kortrijk, Belgium
Surface: Hard, Indoor
Belgium Team Nominations: Alison Van Uytvanck, Kristen Flipkens, Ysaline Bonaventure, Yanina Wickmayer and captain Johan Van Herck.
Spain Team Nominations: World no. 19 Garbiñe Muguruza, Carla Suarez Navarro, Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov, Georgina Garcia-Perez, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and captain Anabel Medina Garrigues.