TAMPA BAY TO HOST U.S. vs. CZECH
FED CUP SEMIFINAL
Ashley Marshall | March 7, 2017
Tampa Bay will host Fed Cup action for the first time next month when Team USA faces the Czech Republic in the World Group semifinals.
The best-of-five tie will be played on an outdoor green clay court at the Saddlebrook Resort, April 22-23, with the two nations competing for a spot in November’s final.
The U.S. Fed Cup team has never lost a tie played in Florida, holding a 4-0 record in the Sunshine State. The U.S. competed in Delray Beach in 2005, 2007 and 2013. It also played in Aventura in 1995.
"Saddlebrook is an iconic tennis venue, and we are very pleased that Fed Cup will be showcased here for the first time," said USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO, and President Katrina Adams. "It will be a perfect site for our Fed Cup match-up against the Czech Republic in April and will be a great host for our players and fans. ADVERTISEMENT Florida fans are very enthusiastic about tennis and we look forward to playing for them as they cheer on Team USA to victory."
The tie begins on Saturday, April 22, with two singles matches. That is followed by two reverse singles matches and the doubles match on Sunday, April 23.
U.S. Fed Cup Captain Kathy Rinaldi will select the four players to represent the U.S. no later than 10 days prior to the event. The Czech Republic is likely to be led by 2016 US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova and world No. 2 doubles player Lucie Safarova.
The U.S. holds a 9-2 head-to-head record over the Czech Republic in Fed Cup play. The U.S. last faced the Czech Republic in the 2009 World Group semifinals in Brno, winning the tie, 3-2. The Czech Republic has not defeated the U.S. in Fed Cup competition since 1985.
The winner of this matchup will advance to the Fed Cup Final, Nov. 11-12. The U.S. Fed Cup team made its last appearance in the final in 2010, falling to Italy, 3-1, in San Diego. The U.S. won the last of its record 17 Fed Cup titles in 2000.
The Czech Republic, meantime, has been dominant in Fed Cup in recent years, winning five titles in the last six years (2011-12, 2014-16). The country also won five titles as Czechoslovakia; its 10 combined titles are second in Fed Cup history to the U.S.
The Tampa Bay site selection is subject to final approval by the International Tennis Federation.