Varvara Lepchenko in action against Roberta Vinci in the 2013 Fed Cup First Round.
© Ray Giubilo
By Erin Bruehl, USTA.com
Delray Beach, Fla., has always been good to the U.S. Fed Cup team. Now, as the chosen site for the Fed Cup World Group Play-off, April 20-21, it has the chance to keep the U.S. in the World Group for 2014.
After a valiant effort in a 3-2 loss at Italy in the 2013 Fed Cup First Round, the U.S. Fed Cup team next faces Sweden as it looks to maintain its spot in the prestigious World Group for 2014. The tie will be held at the Delray Beach Tennis Center. Ticket information will be available at a later date and players will be named to each team no later than 10 days prior to the start of competition.
This will be the fourth Fed Cup tie played in Florida and the third played at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, making it the only venue to host a U.S. Fed Cup tie on three occasions. The U.S. squad has never lost a match in its three previous trips to Florida, going 15-0 overall with 5-0 sweeps over Austria in the 1995 World Group quarterfinal in Aventura, and against Belgium in the 2005 World Group quarterfinal and the 2007 World Group quarterfinal, both in Delray Beach.
"Delray Beach has a strong history of hosting Fed Cup competition, so we know that the fans will come out to cheer on the U.S. team to victory," said U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez. "The team fought hard on the road in the first round in Italy, so we are excited to play at home this time and take on Sweden. There is nothing like playing Fed Cup in front of a patriotic crowd."
The winner of this best-of-five match series will advance to the 2014 World Group and have a chance to compete for the Fed Cup title next year. The loser will be relegated to World Group II in 2014. The U.S. fell to Italy in the 2013 World Group first round in Rimini, Italy, February 9-10, despite two singles victories by Fed Cup rookie Varvara Lepchenko, who defeated world No. 8 Sara Errani and world No. 16 Roberta Vinci, respectively.
Fans can call the U.S. Fed Cup hotline at (888) 334-8782 or visit www.usta.com/fedcup
to receive the latest ticket information.
"Our city is proud to host Fed Cup," said Thomas Carney, Delray Beach Mayor. "We are known for our hospitality and top-rated sports facilities. This event is a win for Fed Cup and a win for Delray Beach. Our community is excited to show the world what a great place this is."
The World Group Playoff will mark the fifth matchup between the U.S. and Sweden in Fed Cup competition, with the U.S. leading the series, 3-1. The two nations last faced each other in 1988, won by Sweden, 2-1. The U.S. won the other three matchups, in 1966, 1975 and 1983.