Serena Williams went 2-0 in Fed Cup for the U.S. in 2013.
© Ron Angle
For the second straight year, the U.S. Fed Cup team was drawn to face Italy in the first round of Fed Cup competition, but in 2014, the Americans will play in front of a home crowd and on their choice of surface.
The 2014 Fed Cup World Group First Round tie between the U.S. and Italy will take place in the U.S. February 8-9, 2014, with the city and players to be announced at later dates.
In the first round last year, Italy narrowly defeated the U.S. 3-2 on indoor red clay in Rimini, Italy. Behind two singles wins from U.S. Fed Cup rookie Varvara Lepchenko and with the tie even at 2-all, Italy secured the win over the U.S., when Lepchenko and Liezel Huber fell to the world No. 1 doubles team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in the deciding doubles match.
The U.S. Fed Cup team then defeated Sweden 3-2 in a Fed Cup World Group Playoff in April in Delray Beach, Fla., with singles wins from world No. 1 Serena Williams and Venus Williams, to secure its spot in the prestigious World Group in 2014 and a chance to compete for the Fed Cup title.
With 17 overall titles, the U.S. is the most successful nation in Fed Cup history and leads Italy 9-3 in head-to-head matchups.
Italy has won the Fed Cup crown two of the last four years and plays Russia in the 2013 Fed Cup Final in November for another title.