Madison Keys will compete for the U.S. Fed Cup team for the second consecutive tie.
© Ron Angle
By Erin Bruehl, USTA.com
The U.S. Fed Cup team faces France later this month looking to maintain its spot in the prestigious World Group for 2015, and it will head to St. Louis with some of the most talented young players in the world.
U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez nominated world No. 18 Sloane Stephens, No. 42 Madison Keys, No. 49 Varvara Lepchenko and No. 57 Christina McHale for the 2014 World Group Play-off vs. France at Chaifetz Arena on the campus of Saint Louis University, April 19-20. They will face French captain Amelie Mauremo’s team of world No. 22 Alize Cornet, No. 74 Caroline Garcia, No. 76 Virginie Razzano and No. 87 Kristina Mladenovic in the best-of-five match series.
The winner moves into the World Group for 2015, with a chance to compete for the Fed Cup title. The loser will be relegated to World Group II. The U.S. fell to Italy, 3-1, in Cleveland in its 2014 first-round tie, while France defeated Switzerland in a World Group II matchup to advance to the World Group Play-offs.
All the members Fernandez’s nominated team have Fed Cup and big-match experience, and the sixth-year captain said she has every confidence they are up to the task. Keys and McHale are both on the U.S. squad for the second consecutive tie.
“We have a great combination of experience and talent competing in this Fed Cup tie against France,” said Fernandez. “We are excited to be led by Sloane, a strong Top 20 competitor, as well as promising young players in Madison and Christina, who have both performed well this year and have Fed Cup experience. Varvara always comes up big in Fed Cup as well and loves competing for her country.
“I have full confidence in this team to play great tennis in front of a patriotic crowd in St. Louis and keep the U.S. in contention for the Fed Cup title in 2015.”
Missouri is hosting Fed Cup for the second time. The state previously hosted the 2002 World Group Play-off in Springfield at the Cooper Tennis Complex, where the U.S. swept Israel, 5-0. Dwight Davis, who in 1900 founded Davis Cup, the men’s equivalent to Fed Cup, was born in St. Louis in 1879. The U.S. is 37-5 all-time in Fed Cup ties played at home and holds an overall 143-34 record.
The U.S. and France last met in the 2010 World Group Quarterfinals, which was a 4-1 victory for the Americans in Lievin, France. Overall, the U.S. leads France, 11-1, in Fed Cup play, with its lone loss coming in the 2003 Fed Cup Final.
Single-day tickets are still available. Prices for single-day tickets range from $40-95 per day. Two-day ticket packages range from $70 to $175. Additional ticket fees apply. Tickets can be purchased via www.ticketmaster.com
, by calling 888-334-USTA (8782), or by visiting the Chaifetz Arena Box Office.