Madison Keys, Danielle Collins, Sofia Kenin, Nicole Melichar
to Represent U.S. in 2019 Fed Cup First Round vs. Australia
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., January 30, 2019 – The USTA and United States Fed Cup Captain Kathy Rinaldi today announced that No. 17 Madison Keys, No. 23 Danielle Collins, No. 36 Sofia Kenin and doubles No. 13 Nicole Melichar will represent the U.S. in the 2019 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group First Round vs. Australia February 9-10 in Asheville, N.C.
World singles No. 14 and doubles No. 6 Ashleigh Barty, No. 46 Daria Gavrilova, No. 142 Priscilla Hon, No. 157 Kimberley Birrell and No. 160 Astra Sharma will represent Australia for Captain Alicia Molik in the best-of-five match series, which will be played on a hard court inside Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center. The U.S. Cellular Center was the site of the U.S. team’s First-Round victory over the Netherlands last year and is the first site to host consecutive Fed Cup ties in the U.S. in 12 years.
Play will begin at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s two singles matches will pit each country’s No. 1 player against the other’s No. 2. Sunday will feature the two reverse singles matches – No. 1 vs. No. 1; No. 2 vs. No. 2 – followed by a possible fifth-and-decisive doubles match. A revised schedule for Sunday may take place if a team clinches in the third or fourth match. The matchups and order of play for the weekend’s matches will be determined at the official draw ceremony, which will be held at 12 p.m. on Friday, February 8, in the U.S. Cellular Center lobby.
Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com. Tennis Channel and Stadium will present live daily coverage nationally in the U.S., while WLOS-TV will carry the matches locally in Asheville.
The U.S. is 9-5 all-time vs. the Aussies and won their last meeting, 4-0, in the 2016 World Group Playoff. Prior to that, the two countries hadn’t met in Fed Cup since 1985. The winner of this matchup will advance to the Semifinals April 20-21 to play the winner of Germany and Belarus.
Keys, 23, will be appearing in her fifth U.S. Fed Cup tie, after sending the U.S. to its second straight Fed Cup Final last year with a tie-clinching singles win in the Semifinals vs. France. A 2017 US Open finalist and career-high world No. 7, Keys reached the semifinals at both the US Open and French Open and the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2018.
Collins, 25, was a breakout star of the 2019 Australian Open, reaching the semifinals in her first main-draw appearance in Melbourne. A two-time NCAA singles champion at the University of Virginia, Collins earned her debut U.S. Fed Cup nomination for the 2018 Final vs. the Czech Republic in Prague last November after a year in which she rose more than 130 spots in the WTA rankings.
Kenin, 20, is the youngest player in the Top 40 and began the 2019 season by winning her first WTA doubles and singles titles in consecutive weeks, in Brisbane and Hobart, respectively. Kenin made her Fed Cup debut in the 2018 Final in Prague as a 19-year old, only the third U.S. teen to make their debut in a Fed Cup Final, and spent 6 ½ hours on court over two singles matches, including a 3 hour, 45-minute thriller vs. Katerina Siniakova in the deciding singles match.
Melichar, 25, is the top-ranked American in women’s doubles and won her fourth career WTA doubles title in Brisbane to start 2019. In 2018, she reached the Wimbledon doubles final and earned her debut Fed Cup nomination for the Final vs. the Czech Republic in Prague.
The USTA has partnered with Explore Asheville, Ingles Markets, Mercedes Benz of Asheville, Mission Health, New Belgium Brewing Company and the Omni Grove Park Inn to bring this event to Asheville. Last year’s tie generated an estimated $3.5 million economic impact on the region, and this year’s tie will feature a variety of community and kids’ events that will once again turn the competition into a weeklong celebration of tennis.