2015/03/04

Draws announced for 2015 Fed Cup Play-offs

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(February 10, 2015) The ITF has announced the draws for the 2015 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and World Group II play-offs on 18-19 April:

 

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

 

Italy [s] [c] v USA
Netherlands [c] v Australia [s]
Poland [s] [c] [*]  v Switzerland
Canada [s] [c] [*] v Romania

WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS

 

Serbia [s] [c] [*] v Paraguay
Slovakia [s] [c] [*] v Sweden
Japan [s] [c] [*] v Belarus
Argentina [c] v Spain [s]

[s] = seed

[c] = choice of ground

[*] = choice of ground decided by lot

 

The 2015 World Group and World Group II play-offs will take place alongside the World Group semifinals on 18-19 April. In the semifinals, Czech Republic will be at home to France, and Russia will be at home to Germany.

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2015 Fed Cup World Group and World Group II results

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(February 8, 2015 ) Sunday’s results from the 2015 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and World Group II first round ties taking place on 7-8 February.

 

In the World Group semifinals, on 18-19 April, Russia will be at home to Germany, while France will be away to Czech Republic.

 

Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland and USA, the four winners in World Group II, have qualified for the World Group play-offs on 18-19 April, where they will be joined by the four World Group first round losers, Australia, Canada, Italy and Poland.

 

Belarus, Japan, Paraguay and Serbia, who all qualified from their respective Zone Group I events which finished on Saturday, will contest the World Group II play-offs on 18-19 April, where they will be joined by the four World Group II losers, Argentina, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

 

The draw for the World Group play-offs and World Group II play-offs will be held at the ITF offices in London on Tuesday 10 February at 10:00 GMT. The seeds will be based on the new Fed Cup Nations Ranking of 9 February.

 

WORLD GROUP FIRST ROUND

 

CZECH REPUBLIC defeated CANADA 4-0

Venue: PEPS, Quebec City, CAN (hard – indoors)

 

Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Francoise Abanda (CAN) 62 64

Tereza Smitkova (CZE) d. Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) 61 62

Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) 64 62

Francoise Abanda (CAN) v Tereza Smitkova (CZE) not played

Denisa Allertova/Lucie Hradecka (CZE) d. Francoise Abanda/Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) 61 76(2)

 

FRANCE defeated ITALY 3-2

Venue: 105 Stadium, Genoa, ITA (clay – indoors)

 

Sara Errani (ITA) d. Caroline Garcia (FRA) 76(2) 75
Camila Giorgi (ITA) d. Alize Cornet (FRA) 64 62
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Sara Errani (ITA) 64 63
Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. Camila Giorgi (ITA) 46 60 62
Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci (ITA) 61 62

RUSSIA defeated POLAND 4-0

Venue: Krakow Arena, Krakow, POL (hard – indoors)

 

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 64 26 62

Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Urszula Radwanska (POL) 60 63
Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 61 75

Urszula Radwanska (POL) v Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) not played
Vitalia Diatchenko/Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Alicja Rosolska (POL) 64 64

GERMANY defeated AUSTRALIA 4-1

Venue: Porsche Arena, Stuttgart, GER (hard – indoors)

 

Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) d. Angelique Kerber (GER) 46 62 64
Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 64 36 1210
Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 62 64
Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 63 36 86
Julia Goerges/Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Casey Dellacqua/Olivia Rogowska (AUS) 67(2) 76(7) [10-6]

WORLD GROUP II FIRST ROUND

 

NETHERLANDS defeated SLOVAKIA 4-1

Venue: Omnisport Apeldoorn, Apeldoorn, NED (clay – indoors)

 

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) d. Kiki Bertens (NED) 62 75
Arantxa Rus (NED) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 63 64
Kiki Bertens (NED) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 61 26 61
Arantxa Rus (NED) d. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 63 26 64
Richel Hogenkamp/Michaella Krajicek (NED) d. Kristina Kucova/Kristina Schmiedlova (SVK) 75 61

ROMANIA defeated SPAIN 3-2

Venue: Danube Arena, Galati, ROU (hard – indoors)

 

Simona Halep (ROU) d. Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 62 61
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 63 62
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. Simona Halep (ROU) 64 63
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) d. Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 62 64
Irina-Camelia Begu/Monica Niculescu (ROU) d. Anabel Medina Garrigues/Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 57 63 62

SWITZERLAND defeated SWEDEN 3-1

Venue: Helsingborg Arena, Helsingborg, SWE (hard – indoors)

 

Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 76(4) 60
Belinda Bencic (SUI) d. Johanna Larsson (SWE) 61 62
Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. Johanna Larsson (SWE) 63 76(5)
Rebecca Peterson (SWE) v Belinda Bencic (SUI) not played
Johanna Larsson/Rebecca Peterson (SWE) d. Viktorija Golubic/Xenia Knoll (SUI) 57 62 [10-5]

USA defeated ARGENTINA 4-1

Venue: Pilara Tennis Club, Buenos Aires (clay – outdoors)

 

Venus Williams (USA) d. Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 63 62
Serena Williams (USA) d. Maria Irigoyen (ARG) 75 60
Paula Ormaechea (ARG) d. CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) 64 64
Venus Williams (USA) d. Maria Irigoyen (ARG) 61 64

Taylor Townsend/CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d. Tatiana Bua/Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 62 63

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Czech Republic clinches Fed Cup semifinal spot after defeating Canada 4-0

Czech Rep clinches semis berth

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

(February 8, 2015) QUEBEC CITY – Karolina Pliskova beat Gabriela Dabrowski in two sets on the second day of the World Group first round tie between Czech Republic and Canada to give and insurmountable 3-0 lead to the visiting team. Top-ranked Czech Republic now reaches its 7th straight World Group semifinal against France, who came back from 0-2 to defeat Italy in the deciding doubles match.

Following their respective performances on Day One, No. 22 Pliskova came out as the heavy favorite against the 183rd-ranked Canadian; except from a few tense moments in the last game, the tall Czech was almost flawless against Abanda in the first match of the tie. Things looked different early on though, as Dabrowski stormed to a 4-1 lead. The Canadian, who likes to mix up her game with slices, spins and surprise visits to the net, seemed to keep Pliskova guessing, leading to numerous unforced errors from the Czech. With her superior power from the baseline and an increased focus, the Czech nevertheless managed to steady the ship to win five consecutive games and the set 6-4: ”I just tried to move my legs more and make less unforced errors,” she mentioned.

Pliskova never looked back in the second set, dominating Dabrowski from start to finish and reeling off 11 of the last 13 games of the match to win 6-4, 6-2 and get the third point for her team. In her first ever Fed Cup matches, the Czech was almost perfect, getting broken only twice and hitting over 50 winners in two matches.

Ranked No. 1 in the world and winner of three of the past four Fed Cup crowns, Czech Republic is the team to beat in this year’s event: ”We have so many players in the top 100, so many options compared to other teams, it makes it tough to beat us,” Pliskova concluded in her on-court interview. This resonated to the Canadian team, who was playing without their only top 100 singles player, No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard.

France, who miraculously got out of a 0-2 deficit against Italy, awaits Czech Republic for a spot in the finals. On the other hand, Canada will have to defend their World Group spot against either Switzerland, the United States, Romania or the Netherlands; the draw will be made in the upcoming weeks.

In the dead rubber doubles, Czechs Lucie Hradecka and Denisa Allertova defeated Canadians Françoise Abanda and Gabriela Dabrowski 6-1, 7-6.

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US Advances to Fed Cup World Group Playoffs with win over Argentina

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(February 8, 2015) Venus Williams led the USA Fed Cup team into the World Group Playoffs on Sunday when she defeated Maria Irigoyen of Argentina 6-1, 6-4 in the second match of the day to clinch the tie at 3-1. Sister Serena did not play the first rubber of the day due to an illness. She was replaced by Coco Vandeweghe, who lost to Paula Ormaechea 6-4, 6-4.

The Americans will play in the World Group Playoffs the weekend of April18-19. They will face one of the following teams: Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland winners in World Group II, and the four World Group first round losers, Australia, Canada, Italy and Poland. The draw will take place on Tuesday.

The Americans have won the Fed Cup title 17 times, more than any other nation, with their last Fed Cup coming in 2000.

USA defeated ARGENTINA 4-1

Venue: Pilara Tennis Club, Buenos Aires (clay – outdoors)

Venus Williams (USA) d. Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 63 62
Serena Williams (USA) d. Maria Irigoyen (ARG) 75 60
Paula Ormaechea (ARG) d. CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) 64 64
Venus Williams (USA) d. Maria Irigoyen (ARG) 61 64

Taylor Townsend/CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d. Tatiana Bua/Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 62 63

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Czech Republic Takes Commanding 2-0 Lead against Canada after Day One of Fed Cup

Karolina Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

(February 7, 2015) QUEBEC CITY – Despite some spirited efforts by the local players, there we no surprises on the first day of the Fed Cup World Group first round between Canada and Czech Republic played in Quebec City. Karolina Pliskova and Tereza Smitkova respectively defeated Françoise Abanda and Gabriela Dabrowski in two sets to give the number-one ranked Czech Republic a commanding lead after Day One.

On paper, the matches seemed quite uneven: Pliskova, 22nd, was ranked over 200 spotS higher than 18-year-old Abanda, while Smitkova (62nd) had the clear edge over Dabrowski (185th). In the end, while the winner somewhat never was in doubt, both Canadians fought well to keep the hopes alive and play patches of inspired tennis.

In the first set of her match against Abanda, Pliskova showed the hard-hitting tennis that has led to her impressive rise in the rankings. Never worried on serve, she had eight break chances, converted two of them, and sailed to a solid 6-2 win. The second set was much closer, as Abanda started to hold more comfortably, helped by the errors creeping in Pliskova’s return games. The Czech was the first to obtain breaks points at 2-2 when she stormed to a 0-40 lead, but the young Canadian leveled to deuce. While Abanda saved yet another break point, the Czech’s 12th of the match, she couldn’t save the 13th as Pliskova took a 3-2 lead.

After four comfortable holds, where Abanda raised her intensity level to the delight of the crowd, the Czech showed her first signs of nerves when serving for her first ever Fed Cup win. After failing to convert two match points, Pliskova gave Abanda her first (and only) break chance of the match. Despite her serving woes (the Czech served 4 doubles in that last game only), Pliskova fired an ace out wide to level things at deuce. After hitting a double fault on her fourth match point, the tall Czech found a way to settle down and close out the 6-2 6-4 win to give her country a 1-0 lead in the tie. Asked in her post-match interview about the numerous double faults in that last game, Pliskova replied: ”I had no idea what I was doing in that game, I was shaking”.

Tereza Smitkova and Gabriela Dabrowski stepped on court a few minutes later: the two players knew each other well after exchanging a pair of very lopsided wins in the past two years. The Canadian looked sharp in the first game and broke right away, but the Czech then reeled off six straight games to take a quick 6-1 lead in barely 20 minutes. While Dabrowski was showing off good hands and craftiness, the hard-hitting of the Czech combined with the fast courts led to the Canadian being often too defensive and overpowered.

The second set followed a similar pattern when Dabrowski took a 2-0 lead, by mixing up the rhythm with slices, higher balls and surprise visits to the net. Despite being broken for 2-1, Dabrowski then had a break point of her own, which she couldn’t convert and then an easy sitter on game point on her own serve at 2-2, which she missed in the net. After saving yet another break point at 3-2 to hold, the Czech never looked back and hit a series of flashy winners in the last two games to get the 6-1 6-2 win.

It was also Smitkova’s first ever Fed Cup win and for the Czech, the key was to be aggressive. ”She is a good defender and has good volleys, the Czech mentioned about her opponent. I had to stay focused and aggressive all match long”. It was also Smitkova’s first ever Fed Cup win, and it gives the Czechs a solid lead going into tomorrow’s matches. Asked on the importance of her win, Smitkova added: ”It was very important to get a 2-0 lead today, but we are focused on getting the third and final point early on tomorrow”.

Karolina Pliskova, a strong favorite, will be hoping to seal the deal and lead her team to the World Group semifinals in the first match against Dabrowski tomorrow, which will start at 1pm ET. If a fourth match is required, Abanda would then face Smitkova, while the deciding doubles match would feature Dabrowski and Sharon Fichman facing Lucie Hradecka and Denisa Allertova.

Follow live twitter updates from the Canada- Czech Republic tie on @TennisNewsTPN throughout the weekend.

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Williams Sisters Give USA 2-0 Lead Over Argentina in Fed Cup

 

 

(February 7, 2015) The Williams sisters gave the United States an expected 2-0 lead over Argentina in their Fed Cup World Group II tie on Saturday in Buenos Aires.

Venus defeated Paula Ormaechea 6-3, 6-2, in the first match, and Serena, figured out her opponent and beat Maria Irigoyen 7-5, 6-0.

Venus, who is ranked No. 11 in the world, defeated No. 121 Ormaechea, 6-3, 6-2, in just one hour and 20 minutes,

“There were a lot of deuce games and Paula really competed well,” Venus said of the match. “She started coming back at 5-0 in the second set, so I had to find a way to put it away. I never thought she was going to give up. It was a good thing for our team to get that first point.”

“There were a couple of breaks in the beginning, but there were interesting circumstances to this match—you are playing for your country and it was my first time on clay. I was just trying to find my rhythm. Once I got broke, I was only thinking about breaking back and holding. By the fifth game, I felt good and it helped me a lot through the rest of the match.”

 

It was two completely different sets,“ Serena said when speaking about her match. “I was trying to find my rhythm. The ball bounced differently than in practice and my feet didn’t move as well in the beginning. The balls hit with more spin today and I needed to get used to that. It is also more humid here. The conditions were hot and the court got a few bad bounces. I was able to find my way there at the end and win.”

Serena can seal the first-round tie on Sunday, in the first of the reverse singles against Ormaechea.

Should the U.S. win, they will be in the playoffs in April, for the opportunity to reach World Group again in 2016.

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Fed Cup Results for February 6

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(February 6, 2015) The ITF has announced the latest results from Fed Cup Europe/Africa Zone Groups I and II, Asia/Oceania Zone Group I and Americas Zone Group I.

 

Four Zone Group events are taking place this week: Europe/Africa Zone Group I in Budapest, Hungary (4-7 February); Americas Zone Group I in San Luis Potosi, Mexico (4-7 February); Asia/Oceania Zone Group I in Guangzhou, China (4-7 February); and Europe/Africa Zone Group II in Tallinn, Estonia (4-7 February).

All nations contesting the Zone Group I events will be bidding to qualify for the Fed Cup World Group II play-offs on 18-19 April, with two teams qualifying from the Europe/Africa Zone, and one team from both the Americas and Asia/Oceania Zones. The nations contesting the Europe/Africa Zone Group II event are bidding for promotion to 2016 Europe/Africa Zone Group I.

 

The 2015 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and World Group II first round ties are taking place on 7-8 February.

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP I

Venue: Syma Event and Congress Centre, Budapest, Hungary (hard – indoor)

 

Pool A

Hungary defeated Austria 3-0
Reka-Luca Jani (HUN) d. Barbara Haas (AUT) 75 62

Timea Babos (HUN) d. Patricia Mayr-Achleitner (AUT) 1-0 ret.

Timea Babos/Anna Bondar (HUN) d. Julia Grabher/Sandra Klemenschits (AUT) 76(2) 62

 

Pool B

Great Britain defeated Ukraine 3-0
Johanna Konta (GBR) d. Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 63 62

Heather Watson (GBR) d. Elina Svitolina (UKR) 26 75 64

Jocelyn Rae/Anna Smith (GBR) d. Olga Savchuk/Elina Svitolina (UKR) 67(6) 75 64

 

Turkey defeated Liechtenstein 3-0
Ipek Soylu (TUR) d. Lynn Zund (LIE) 60 62

Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) d. Stephanie Vogt (LIE) 62 62

Cagla Buyukakcay/Pemra Ozgen (TUR) d. Sandra Hinterberger/Lynn Zund (LIE) 60 60

Pool C

Belarus defeated Portugal 2-1
Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. Maria Joao Koehler (POR) 63 62

Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) d. Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 64 62

Vera Lapko/Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) d. Barbara Luz/Ines Murta (POR) 64 67(2) 62

 

Georgia defeated Bulgaria 2-1
Ekaterine Gorgodze (GEO) d. Dia Evtimova (BUL) 64 64

Elitsa Kostova (BUL) d. Sofia Shapatava (GEO) 63 76(4)

Oksana Kalashnikova/Sofia Shapatava (GEO) d. Dia Evtimova/Elitsa Kostova (BUL) 63 62
Pool D

Croatia defeated Belgium 2-1
Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) d. Ana Vrljic (CRO) 62 64

Ana Konjuh (CRO) d. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 62 46 64

Darija Jurak/Ana Konjuh (CRO) d. Kirsten Flipkens/Alison van Uytvanck (BEL) 63 62

 

Israel defeated Latvia 2-1
Julia Glushko (ISR) d. Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 75 63

Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Diana Marcinkevica (LAT) 61 61

Darta-Elizabete Emulina/Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) d. Alona Pushkarevsky/Keren Shlomo (ISR) 63 26 63

 

ASIA/OCEANIA ZONE GROUP I

Venue: Guangdong Olympic Sports Centre, Guangzhou, China, P.R. (hard – outdoor)

 

Pool A

Japan defeated Uzbekistan 3-0
Eri Hozumi (JPN) d. Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) 63 63

Misaki Doi (JPN) d. Nigina Abduraimova (UZB) 26 60 63

Shuko Aoyama/Eri Hozumi (JPN) d. Arina Folts/Sabina Sharipova (UZB) 64 64

 

Korea, Rep. defeated Hong Kong, China 3-0
Han Na-Lae (KOR) d. Wu Ho Ching (HKG) 63 75

Jang Su Jeong (KOR) d. Zhang Ling (HKG) 26 64 62

Choi Ji-Hee/Lee So-Ra (KOR) d. Ng Man Ying/ Sher Chun-Wing (HKG) 63 62

 

Pool B

 

Kazakhstan defeated Thailand 2-1
Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d. Peangtarn Plipuech (THA) 67(3) 75 62

Zarina Diyas (KAZ) d. Nicha Lertpitaksinchai (THA) 60 60

Luksika Kumkhum/Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) d. Kamila Kerimbayeva/Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 63 16 63

 

China, P.R. defeated Chinese Taipei 2-1
Wang Qiang (CHN) d. Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE) 61 63

Zheng Saisai (CHN) d. Chan Yung-Jan (TPE) 62 46 4-0 ret.

Chan Hao-Ching/Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE) d. Wang Qiang/Zheng Saisai (CHN) 1-2 ret.

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I

Venue: La Loma Centro Deportivo, San Luis Potosi, Mexico (hard – outdoor)

 

Pool A

Brazil defeated Colombia 2-1
Paula Cristina Goncalves (BRA) d. Yuliana Lizarazo (COL) 76(3) 46 62

Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) d. Mariana Duque-Marino (COL) 76(6) 75

Maria Fernanda Herazo Gonzalez/Maria Paulina Perez-Garcia (COL) d. Gabriela Ce/Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 36 5-4 ret.
Pool B

Paraguay defeated Venezuela 3-0
Montserrat Gonzalez (PAR) d. Viviana Onorato (VEN) 60 60

Veronica Cepede Royg (PAR) d. Mariaryeni Gutierrez (VEN) 63 62

Camila Giangreco Campiz/Sara Gimenez (PAR) d. Mariaryeni Gutierrez/Viviana Onorato (VEN) 75 63

 

Mexico defeated Bolivia 2-1
Marcela Zacarias (MEX) d. Noelia Zeballos (BOL) 06 75 62

Maria-Fernanda Alvarez-Teran (BOL) d. Ana Sofia Sanchez (MEX) 26 62 63

Victoria Rodriguez/Renata Zarazua (MEX) d. Maria-Fernanda Alvarez-Teran/Noelia Zeballos (BOL) 62 57 61

 

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP II

Venue: Tere Tennis Centre, Tallin, Estonia (hard – indoor)

 

Pool A

South Africa defeated Bosnia/Herzegovina 2-1
Chanel Simmonds (RSA) d. Damira Muminovic (BIH) 64 62

Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) d. Jelena Simic (BIH) 64 60

Jelena Simic/Jasmina Tinjic (BIH) d. Ilze Hattingh/Michelle Sammons (RSA) 64 62

Estonia defeated Egypt 2-1
Anett Kontaveit (EST) d. Sandra Samir (EGY) 61 61

Kaia Kanepi (EST) d. Ola Abou Zekry (EGY) 60 61

Ola Abou Zekry/Dina Hegab (EGY) d. Valeria Gorlats/Julia Skripnik (EST) 62 36 76(3)

Pool B

Finland defeated Luxembourg 3-0
Oona Orpana (FIN) d. Eleonora Molinaro  (LUX) 75 64

Piia Suomalainen (FIN) d. Claudine Schaul (LUX) 61 62

Ella Leivo (FIN)/ Roosa Timonen d. Sharon Pesch/Jo Weisen (LUX) 76(4) 60

Slovenia defeated Ireland 2-1
Tadeja Majeric (SLO) d. Lauren Deegan (IRL) 57 61 63

Amy Bowtell (IRL) d. Polona Hercog (SLO) 76(7) 4-6 ret.

Andreja Klepac/Manca Pislak (SLO) d. Amy Bowtell/Rachael Dillon (IRL) 62 63

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Newcomers Highlight Canada – Czech Republic Fed Cup World Group tie in Quebec City

2014 team (L-R, Valerie Tetreault, Stephanie Dubois, Rene Simpson Collins, Sharon Fichman and Aleksandra Wozniak)

From 2014 (L-R, Valerie Tetreault, Stephanie Dubois, Rene Simpson Collins, Sharon Fichman and Aleksandra Wozniak)

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

(February 6, 2015) QUEBEC CITY – The official draw for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first-round tie between Canada and Czech Republic took place Friday in Quebec City, and the singles matches will feature four newcomers on that stage.

Local hopes will rely on Gabriela Dabrowski, who is a regular doubles player on the team but has yet to play a singles match in Fed Cup, and Françoise Abanda, who just turned 18 and will play her first ever tie. On the first day, they will respectively face Tereza Smitkova and Karolina Pliskova, the highest ranked player of the weekend, as both will also be playing their first ever Fed Cup matches. After the reversed singles on Sunday, Dabrowski should pair with Sharon Fichman, while Lucie Hradecka and Denisa Allertova are on the board for the Czechs in the necessity of a deciding doubles match.

Both teams are missing their top players: the Czechs, who have won three of the past four titles and are the number one team in the Fed Cup ranking, are playing with only one of their five players ranked in the WTA top 50 (Pliskova). Petra Kvitova, Lucie Safarova, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Klara Koukalova, regular attendees of numerous ties in the past few years, have all decided not to attend this encounter.

On the Canadian side, the big missing piece is 7th-ranked Eugenie Bouchard. The local star kept the fans on the edge of their seat before announcing her absence only late this week. Bouchard, who played a crucial role in leading Canada to the World Group for the first time by going undefeated against Serbia and Slovakia in 2014, decided to focus on training with her newly announced coach, Sam Sumyk, in preparation of the Antwerp tournament. Her spot on the team was given to Charlotte Robillard-Millette, 16 years old, who is quickly rising up in the junior rankings and has reached the Junior Australian Open quarterfinals just a week ago. Another noticeable absentee on the Canadian squad is veteran Aleksandra Wozniak, the second best-ranked player of the country and holder of multiple Canadian Fed Cup records, who is nursing the shoulder injury which has been bothering her for multiple years.

Matches will be played both days at 1pm Eastern Time at PEPS on the campus of Laval University, location of the National Bank Cup (formerly known as the Bell Challenge), an International tournament played in September. The winning team will face the winners of the Italy-France tie in April in the World Group semifinals.

 

Event Representing Canada Representing Czech Republic
1st Singles Rubber – Saturday February 7, 1 p.m. ET Francoise Abanda Karolina Pliskova
2nd Singles Rubber – Saturday February 7 Gabriela Dabrowski Tereza Smitkova
3rd Singles Rubber – Sunday, February 8, 1 p.m. ET Gabriela Dabrowski Karolina Pliskova
4th Singles Rubber – Sunday, February 8 Francoise Abanda Tereza Smitkova
Doubles Rubber – Sunday, February 8 Gabriela Dabrowski/Sharon Fichman Denisa Allertova/Lucie Hradecka

Follow live twitter updates from the Canada- Czech Republic tie on @TennisNewsTPN throughout the week.

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Draws announced for Fed Cup World Group and World Group II ties

fed cup colours

(February 6, 2015) The ITF has announced the draws for the 2015 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and World Group II first round ties taking place on 7-8 February.

Four Zone Group events are also taking place this week: Europe/Africa Zone Group I in Budapest, Hungary (4-7 February); Americas Zone Group I in San Luis Potosi, Mexico (4-7 February); Asia/Oceania Zone Group I in Guangzhou, China (4-7 February); and Europe/Africa Zone Group II in Tallinn, Estonia (4-7 February).

WORLD GROUP FIRST ROUND

 

CANADA v CZECH REPUBLIC

Venue: PEPS, Quebec City, CAN (hard – indoors)

 

Francoise Abanda (CAN) v Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) v Tereza Smitkova (CZE)

Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) v Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

Francoise Abanda (CAN) v Tereza Smitkova (CZE)

Gabriela Dabrowski/Sharon Fichman (CAN) v Denisa Allertova/Lucie Hradecka (CZE)

 

ITALY v FRANCE

Venue: 105 Stadium, Genoa, ITA (clay – indoors)

 

Sara Errani (ITA) v Caroline Garcia (FRA)
Camila Giorgi (ITA) v Alize Cornet (FRA)
Sara Errani (ITA) v Alize Cornet (FRA)
Camila Giorgi (ITA) v Caroline Garcia (FRA)
Roberta Vinci/Karin Knapp (ITA) v Kristina Mladenovic/Pauline Parmentier (FRA)

POLAND v RUSSIA

Venue: Krakow Arena, Krakow, POL (hard – indoors)

 

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) v Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)

Urszula Radwanska (POL) v Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) v Maria Sharapova (RUS)

Urszula Radwanska (POL) v Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Alicja Rosolska (POL) v Vitalia Diatchenko/Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)

GERMANY v AUSTRALIA

Venue: Porsche Arena, Stuttgart, GER (hard – indoors)

 

Angelique Kerber (GER) v Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS)
Andrea Petkovic (GER) v Samantha Stosur (AUS)
Angelique Kerber (GER) v Samantha Stosur (AUS)
Andrea Petkovic (GER) v Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS)
Julia Goerges/Sabine Lisicki (GER) v Casey Dellacqua/Samantha Stosur (AUS)

WORLD GROUP II FIRST ROUND

 

NETHERLANDS v SLOVAKIA

Venue: Omnisport Apeldoorn, Apeldoorn, NED (clay – indoors)

 

Kiki Bertens (NED) v Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK)
Arantxa Rus (NED) v Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)
Kiki Bertens (NED) v Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)
Arantxa Rus (NED) v Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK)
Richel Hogenkamp/Michaella Krajicek (NED) v Magdalena Rybarikova/Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK)

ROMANIA v SPAIN

Venue: Danube Arena, Galati, ROU (hard – indoors)

 

Simona Halep (ROU) v Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) v Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
Simona Halep (ROU) v Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) v Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
Alexandra Dulgheru/Monica Niculescu (ROU) v Lara Arruabarrena/Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP)

SWEDEN v SWITZERLAND

Venue: Helsingborg Arena, Helsingborg, SWE (hard – indoors)

 

Rebecca Peterson (SWE) v Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
Johanna Larsson (SWE) v Belinda Bencic (SUI)
Johanna Larsson (SWE) v Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
Rebecca Peterson (SWE) v Belinda Bencic (SUI)
Sofia Arvidsson/Susanne Celik (SWE) v Viktorija Golubic/Xenia Knoll (SUI)

ARGENTINA v USA

Venue: Pilara Tennis Club, Buenos Aires (clay – outdoors)

 

Paula Ormaechea (ARG) v Venus Williams (USA)
Maria Irigoyen (ARG) v Serena Williams (USA)
Paula Ormaechea (ARG) v Serena Williams (USA)
Maria Irigoyen (ARG) v Venus Williams (USA)

Tatiana Bua/Nadia Podoroska (ARG) v Taylor Townsend/CoCo Vandeweghe (USA)

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Serena and Venus Williams Lead US Against Argentina in Fed Cup Tie

Argentina Colombia WCup Soccer

(February 6, 2015) The United States will face Argentina in the Fed Cup World Group II First Round on an outdoor red clay court at the Pilara Tennis Club in Buenos Aires. Play begins Saturday at 11:00 am local time (9:00 am ET).

 

Opening the tie will be world No. 11 and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and world No. 121 Paula Ormaechea. Venus comes to Argentina after reaching the Australian Open quarterfinal, her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 2010. She holds a 19-4 overall record in Fed Cup competition (15-2 in singles), last playing in the 2013 Fed Cup World Group Playoff against Sweden in Delray Beach, Fla. She was also a member of the Fed Cup title-winning team in 1999. She has been ranked No. 1 in both singles and doubles.

 

“I love the game, competition and everything about tennis,” Venus said in Friday’s draw ceremony. “It is a pleasure to be here and represent the U.S.”

 

“Paula is a great girl and a great player. We have practiced a few times together. I have a lot of respect for her and it will be a good match between us.”

 

 

Ormaechaea has competed in 12 Fed Cup ties for Argentina, holding an 11-7 singles record. She peaked at No. 59 in the world in October 2013 and has reached the third round of the French Open twice (in 2013 and 2014). Venus and Ormaechea have faced each other once on the WTA Tour – in the 2013 French Open, where Venus won, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

 

The second match on Saturday features world No. 1 and 2015 Australian Open champion Serena Williams and world No. 197 Maria Irigoyen. Serena holds a perfect 10-0 singles record in Fed Cup competition, last playing in the 2013 Fed Cup World Group Playoff against Sweden in Delray Beach to propel the U.S. back into the World Group last year. She also helped the U.S. capture the 1999 Fed Cup title. Williams has now won 19 Grand Slam titles along with the Olympic gold medal in singles and women’s doubles, with sister Venus, at the 2012 Games in London. Irigoyen has competed in 16 Fed Cup ties for Argentina, making her debut in 2008, and holds a 3-5 singles record in Fed Cup play. Irigoyen won her first WTA doubles title last year in Rio de Janeiro and has ranked as high as No. 155 in the world in singles and No. 83 in doubles. Serena and Irigoyen have never faced each other.

 

“It feels good to be in Argentina,” Serena said. “It is a change from Australia because we were on hard courts and now we are on clay. I love the clay. We are all trying to get our feet used to the surface, but the whole team feels really good. I am really excited to be playing here for my team.”

 

“I’ve played in some cozy, small stadiums around the world, including the Ukraine in Fed Cup. It’s a great chance for fans and people to come here to get up close to the tennis. I am excited to play for them.”

 

“I have been here with Venus before and we had a wonderful time. We had the opportunity to play with some kids with disabilities during our last visit and had fun playing with them. The city is really nice and we did a lot of shopping and touring and it was a wonderful experience. It is great to be back.”

 

 

 

This tie marks the first time that the U.S. Fed Cup Team has played in Argentina, as it has previously played them on home and neutral ground. This will mark the fifth matchup between the U.S. and Argentina in Fed Cup competition, where the United States holds a 3-1 record over Argentina. The U.S. is 8-11 in away ties since the World Group format was in instituted in 1995 and holds an overall 143-35 record.

 

“We are looking forward to this weekend,” said US Fed Cup captain MaryJoe Fernandez . We had a good week of practice, the club is fantastic, and the courts are in great shape. Obviously it is a big transition for Venus and Serena coming from Australia and changing the surface, but everyone is ready and looking good. We are ready to compete.”

 

 

The winner of this tie advances to the World Group Playoff, held April 18-19, to compete for a spot in the 2016 World Group. The losing nation will play in the World Group II Playoff in April to remain in World Group II in 2016. The U.S. will compete in World Group II in 2015 for just the second time since the World Group format was instituted in 1995 (the U.S. competed in the World Group II in 2012).

 

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis. It is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 99 nations taking part in 2015. The U.S. leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles, the last coming in 2000.

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