U.S. to host Latvia in
2020 Fed Cup qualifying
Ashley Marshall | September 19, 2019
Team USA will begin its bid for a record-extending 19th Fed Cup title with a home tie against Latvia in February 2020.
It will be the first-ever meeting between the two countries, with the winner set to advance to the new-look Fed Cup finals to be held in Budapest, Hungary, in April.
The best-of-five match will feature four singles matches and one doubles match, with all matches played over best-of-three tiebreak sets. Two singles matches will be played on Friday, Feb. 7, with two reverse singles matches and a double match, if needed, on Feb. 8.
The venue and court surface for the February tie will be announced at a later date.
The winners of the eight qualifying matches will join 2019 finalists France and Australia, hosts Hungary and wild card recipients Czech Republic in the 12-team final. ADVERTISEMENT The format will include four groups of three teams in a round-robin format, followed by a conventional semifinal and final bracket.
The eight losing nations from February's qualifying round will compete in the playoffs for the right to compete for the title the following year.
Each nation is expected to name its team in late January 2020.
The U.S. team that edged Switzerland in San Antonio in April featured 2017 US Open finalists Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, Sonya Kenin, Jessica Pegula and Jennifer Brady. Neither Danielle Collins nor Nicole Melichar, who were named in U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi’s squad to face Australia in February, were on April's Playoff roster in Texas.
2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko and Anastasija Sevastova could likely anchor the Latvian squad against the U.S., although Diana Marcinkevica and Daniel Vismane could each play pivotal roles.
Latvia was denied back-to-back promotions from Zone Group 1 to the World Group in April this year with a 3-1 defeat at home to Germany. The Latvians had won six consecutive ties up until that point, first advancing through the World Group 2 Playoff in 2018 and then reaching the World Group Playoff for the first time in its nation’s history.