U.S. TO HOST AUSTRALIA
IN 2019 FED CUP FIRST ROUND
Ashley Marshall | July 24, 2018
Team USA will begin its 2019 Fed Cup campaign on home soil when it renews its long-standing rivalry with Australia in February.
The 2019 draw took place Tuesday, pitting U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi’s team against Australia for the 15th time overall but just the second time since 1985. With this meeting between the two teams, the U.S. will have played Australia more than any other nation.
The tie will be held Feb. 9-10 at a venue and on a surface to be determined later.
Should the U.S. advance past Australia, it would either host 2017 finalist and No. 3 seed Belarus or travel to Germany in April for the semifinals. If Team USA reaches the 2019 championship match, it would face either the Czech Republic, France, Belgium or Romania in the final.
As a finalist this year – the U.S. will battle the Czech Republic in Prague in November – the U.S.
was guaranteed the right to host its first-round tie in 2019. But since Team USA last played Australia in Brisbane in 2016 and ties alternate between countries, the U.S. would have hosted the tie regardless of this year’s result.
The U.S. is 9-5 all-time against Australia, although the majority of those matches came long before the current squad’s members even picked up a racquet.
When the teams met in the 2016 World Group playoff, Madison Keys, Christina McHale, Coco Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands helped Mary Joe Fernandez’s team to a 4-0 sweep of the Aussies, led by former US Open champion Sam Stosur, at the Queensland Tennis Centre.
The win sealed Team USA’s place in the World Group for the 2017 season, which eventually led to the team capturing the title in Minsk.
Prior to that 2016 win, the U.S. last played Australia in the 1985 semifinals in Nagoya, Japan, when the pairing of Kathy Jordan and Elise Burgin won the best-of-three tie, 2-1.
The last time the U.S. hosted Australia was in the 1976 Fed Cup final at the now-demolished Spectrum Stadium in Philadelphia.
In that tie more than 40 years ago, playing-captain Billie Jean King and Rosie Casals defeated the team of Evonne Goolagong and Kerry Melville Reid to win the Fed Cup for the fifth time in U.S. history and the first time since 1969.