Fed Cup Semifinals to Air Live on Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus This Weekend
LOS ANGELES, April 19, 2018 -Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus will provide complete live coverage of the U.S. Fed Cup team’s semifinal competition against France in Marseille, France this weekend, with telecasts Saturday, April 21, beginning at 8 a.m. ET, and Sunday, April 22, beginning at 7 a.m. ET. Five-time Grand Slam doubles champion and former World No. 1 doubles player Bethanie Mattek-Sands will join US Open champion Sloane Stephens, finalist Madison Keys and semifinalist CoCo Vandeweghe as they attempt to lead America to back-to-back Fed Cup finals appearances for the first time since 2009-10. Reigning champion United States won its record 18th Fed Cup title last November in Minsk, Belarus.
The battle between the United States and France will consist of two singles matches Saturday, and two singles matches and a doubles match Sunday. The winner of the semifinal matchup will advance to the championships in November to play the winner of this weekend’s Germany-Czech Republic competition (complete schedule below).
Tennis Channel’s digital subscription service, Tennis Channel Plus, will also provide live coverage of the other Fed Cup semifinal between Germany and Czech Republic in Stuttgart, Germany, starting Saturday, April 21, at 6 a.m. ET. Among the stars set to play for Czech Republic are 2016 US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, with Germany featuring two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber and Julia Goerges.
Award-winning announcer Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman) will call the U.S. Fed Cup competition for Tennis Channel, joined by Hall of Famer and former U.S. Fed Cup player Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin). Austin’s contributed to three Fed Cup championships (1978-1980) during her career. The network’s on-air team will also include former player and renowned sportscaster Mary Carillo and Chanda Rubin (@Chanda_Rubin). As a player, Rubin competed on the U.S. Fed Cup team in 1995, 1997, 1999, and 2003-2004.
Viewers can also catch semifinal Fed Cup matches on-demand on Tennis Channel Plus. The service is available to everyone in the United States, regardless of whether they currently subscribe to the television network.
Tennis Channel’s live Fed Cup coverage is as follows (all times ET):
Saturday, April 21:
6 a.m. – Singles Germany v. Czech Republic (Tennis Channel Plus)
8 a.m. – Singles USA v. France (Tennis Channel, Tennis Channel Plus)
Sunday, April 22:
5 a.m. -Singles, Doubles Germany v. Czech Republic (Tennis Channel Plus)
7 a.m. -Singles, Doubles USA v. France (Tennis Channel, Tennis Channel Plus)
The United States holds a 11-2 advantage over France. The most recent meeting between the two nations was in 2014, when France beat the United States 3-2. In 2003, the French defeated the Americans in the Fed Cup finals to win their second title. The United States leads all nations with 18 Fed Cup championships.
The U.S. Fed Cup team is captained by retired American tennis player Kathy Rinaldi, who last year lead the Americans to their first Fed Cup title since 2000. Mattek-Sands, former World No. 1 doubles player, returned to competition last month after suffering a knee injury during a singles match at Wimbledon in July. This month Stephens cracked the top 10 for the first time in her career when she beat defending French Open champion and World No. 5 Jelena Ostapenko at the Miami Open. Keys also advanced to the quarterfinals at this year’s Australian Open before falling to former World No.1 Kerber. Vandeweghe, who was a member of last year’s championship-winning team, went 8-0 in singles and doubles play on the way to the 2017 U.S. title. The United States enters this weekend’s first-round competition after overpowering the Netherlands 3-1 in Asheville, N.C., in February.
France earned its spot in this weekend’s matchup after a 3-2 victory over Belgium in its first round, and is in its third semifinal appearance in the last four years. The French were crowned Fed Cup champions in both 1997 and 2003. The team is captained by Yannick Noah and features Kristina Mladenovic, Pauline Parmentier and Amandine Hesse.