on Fed Cup playoff team
Ashley Marshall | April 10, 2019
Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and 2017 finalist Madison Keys will headline Team USA’s Fed Cup squad that is set to face Switzerland in San Antonio later this month.
At No. 8 in the world, Stephens is the top-ranked American in the WTA Rankings, while Keys climbed back up to No. 14 this week after winning her fourth career title in Charleston, S.C., over the weekend. They will be joined by world No. 36 Sonya Kenin, No. 74 Jessica Pegula and No. 78 Jennifer Brady.
With an average age of less than 24, the team is the second-youngest of U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi’s eight squads, behind only the four-player roster of Keys, Kenin, Danielle Collins and Nicole Melichar that fell to Australia in February.
Team USA will host the Swiss inside San Antonio’s Freeman Coliseum in a World Group playoff competition on April 20-21. ADVERTISEMENT The winner of the tie will remain in the World Group to compete for the Fed Cup in 2020, while the losing nation will play in World Group II next year.
Stephens will be competing in her seventh Fed Cup tie, the most of any of the quintet. She has a 5-5 overall record, including 4-4 in singles play.
Keys, who is 5-4 overall for Team USA, is playing her sixth Fed Cup tie, while Kenin will be making her third appearance after debuting in the 2018 final in the Czech Republic.
Both Brady and Pegula will be making their Fed Cup debuts, although Brady was a hitting partner for the U.S. championship-winning team in 2017 in Belarus.
Switzerland captain Heinz Guenthardt nominated world No. 81 Viktorija Golubic, No. 112 Timea Bacsinzsky, No. 144 Conny Perrin and No. 183 Ylena In-Albon to the squad to face the U.S.
Team USA owns a career 8-0 record against the Swiss. Seven of those wins took place at neutral sites, with the lone home win coming in the 1976 quarterfinals at Philadelphia’s Spectrum Stadium. The two countries last met in the 1993 World Group first round at the Waldstadion Tennis Club in Frankfurt, Germany.
By playing in San Antonio, the U.S. Fed Cup team will have played home matches in 30 different venues across 17 different states.
Team USA last played in World Group II in 2016, sweeping Poland 4-0 to advance to the playoffs with Australia, which the U.S. also won 4-0 to move back into the World Group for 2017.