(April 19, 2015) Italy has now won five straight Fed cup ties against the United States with their 3-2 win on Sunday in the World Group playoff in Brindisi, Italy.
No. 1 Serena Williams had to fight her way back against Sara Errani to take the first match of the day 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead over Italy.
“Today has been a big eye opener,” Williams said. “I need to go home and train. I am totally not ready for clay court season as I thought I was. This was a great match for me, even if I had lost, I think it would have been a wonderful match. That is one good thing about playing Fed Cup and things like this it gives you the practice that you normally would not get.”
In the second match, hometown girl Flavia Pennetta demolished Christina McHale 6-1, 6-1 to even up the tie at 2-2.
The final rubber of the tie which was the doubles, saw Williams lost her first match of her Fed Cup career when she paired with Alison Riske and fell to Pennetta and Errani 6-0, 6-3 which sealed the tie for Italy.
Williams is now 13-0 in Singles and 3-1 in doubles in Fed Cup competition.
On playing against Pennetta and Errani in doubles, Williams said: “They are a very solid team and obviously, they have both been No. 1 in doubles. I have been No. 1, so I felt like I had the opportunity to take some chances and do the best I can. They were the better team today and ultimately, they got the win, which they deserved since they played better.”
Italy will return to the World Group and can compete for the Fed Cup trophy in 2016 while the U.S. will fall to World Group II.
Asked about the future of the U. S. Fed Cup team, Captain Mary Joe Fernandez said: “I think it is a big challenge. We have to work harder. We came close today and just keep plugging away. The good news is that we have a lot of players in the Top 100 and hopefully, we can get two wins next year and get back into the World Group.”
The 2016 Fed Cup draw will be made in June.