By Erin Bruehl, USTA.com
The U.S. Fed Cup team looks to maintain its spot in the World Group for 2015.
© Ron Angle
For the third consecutive tie, the U.S. Fed Cup team will take the court on home soil, this time in St. Louis, as it battles France in the World Group Play-offs April 19-20.
The two teams will meet at Chaifetz Arena on the campus of Saint Louis University, with the winner earning a spot in Fed Cup’s prestigious World Group and a chance to compete for the 2015 Fed Cup title.
The U.S. was relegated to a Play-off after falling to defending champion Italy, 3-1, in the Fed Cup Quarterfinals in February in Cleveland behind a young squad of Christina McHale and first-time Fed Cup competitors Lauren Davis, Madison Keys and Alison Riske. France defeated Switzerland, 3-2, in a World Group II tie to earn a shot at moving back up to the World Group next year.
“This is the first time we are playing Fed Cup in St. Louis, so I am really looking forward to competing there next month in front of what I hope is an enthusiastic and patriotic home crowd,” said Mary Joe Fernandez, who is in her sixth year as the U.S. Fed Cup captain. “We have veteran players in Serena and Venus Williams who are available to play, as well as many strong, up-and-coming young Americans who are always excited to compete for their country. The tennis will be fantastic, from both the U.S. and France, so we are excited to have the city of St. Louis behind us.”
This will be the second time Fed Cup has come to Missouri. The state previously hosted a 2002 World Group Play-off vs. Israel in Springfield, which the U.S. won, 5-0, with a team that included Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenport.
Overall, the U.S. leads France, 11-1, in Fed Cup competition, with its last victory coming in the 2010 Fed Cup Quarterfinals in Lievin, France. France’s only Fed Cup win over the U.S. was in the 2003 Fed Cup Final in Moscow. The U.S. leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup crowns.
The U.S. defeated Sweden in a World Group Play-off in 2013 in Delray Beach, Fla., to maintain its World Group status for 2014, behind two singles wins from Serena Williams. Overall, the U.S. is 3-1 in Fed Cup Play-offs, having also defeated Japan in 1997 and Ukraine in 2012 and lost to Germany in 2011.
Overall, the U.S. is 37-5 in Fed Cup ties played at home.
Players for each team will be named no later than 10 days prior to the start of competition. Tickets for this best-of-five series will go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 21, at 10 a.m. CT, with a special USTA Member Pre-sale starting Thursday, March 20, at 10 a.m. CT. Fans can purchase tickets through Ticketmaster
or at the Chaifetz Arena Box Office.