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U.S. Fed Cup Team Awaits Playoffs Opponent; More Tennis News

February 10, 2014 09:05 AM
U.S. Fed Cup Team Awaits Playoffs Opponent for April

FedCupLogoThe U.S. Fed Cup team will be forced to fight through the April playoffs round to stay in the World Group after a 3-1 opening-round loss over the weekend to Italy at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Italians swept the tie 3-0 when on the opening Saturday Karin Knapp defeated Christina McHale 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, and Camila Giorgi stunned Madison Keys 6-2, 6-1, followed by the clincher on Sunday when Knapp defeated Alison Riske 6-3, 7-5. The U.S. won the dead-rubber doubles when Lauren Davis/Riske topped Italians Nastassja Burnett/Alice Matteucci 6-2, 6-3.

Italy is the reigning Fed Cup champion, but was without top players Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci and Francesca Schiavone, who skipped the tie citing too heavy a travel schedule. The U.S. was likewise without stars Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens who were sidelined with injuries. The young U.S. team players were all making their debuts in the Fed Cup competition.

"[Serena] was writing us during the matches, watching it live stream," said U.S. Captain Mary Joe Fernandez. "When Christina was playing, she was like, 'Okay, she can come back. Tell her to hit more forehands.' She was play-by-play on each match. When Madison was playing, 'Oh, my gosh, this girl is playing well. Tell her to hang in there.' I was actually looking at my phone while they were playing."

The U.S. will now be relegated to the World Group Playoff round on April 19-20, 2014, and will need to win to stay in the World Group for 2015. The Americans' opponents will likely be one of the World Group II winners over the weekend: Canada (top players: No. 19-ranked Eugenie Bouchard, No. 112 Karen Fichman); France (No. 25 Alize Cornet, No. 71 Kristina Mladenovic); Poland (world No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 45-ranked sister Urszula); or Argentina (No. 59 Paula Ormaechea, No. 173 Maria Irigoyen).

"I think everybody knows that if Serena Williams is healthy and wants to play, she always has a spot on the team," Fernandez said. "She's been very supportive throughout the years...Those are all great teams [in the playoffs round]. It's going to be tough. We played Sweden last year in the playoffs. That was a tough match-up. My first choice is whoever we play, we play at home."

197 Teams, 37 Countries at 2014 ITF Seniors World Championships in Palm Beach County

ITF-SENIORS-LOGO-2014-FINAL-PNGThe International Tennis Federation announced that 197 teams from 37 different countries have entered to compete in the 2014 ITF Seniors World Championships, one of the largest international amateur tennis events in the world, coming to Palm Beach County on April 21-May 4, 2014.

"This is the highest-ranked event on the ITF Seniors Circuit for male and female players in the age categories of 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55, and we're delighted that worldwide interest is not only at its highest ever, but new countries that have never participated before are playing in the tournament," said BallenIsles Tennis Director and Tournament Chairperson Trish Faulkner.

For the first time ever, teams from China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Haiti and Venezuela will also compete for the coveted title of world champion in their respective individual and team categories.
Eight outstanding tennis facilities in Palm Beach County have been selected as venues for the 15-day marquee event. BallenIsles Country Club as host site in North County, Mirasol Country Club, PGA National Resort, Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center, Polo Club of Boca Raton as host site in South County, Boca West Country Club, Boca Grove Country Club and Woodfield Country Club.

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission has projected that the economic impact of the event could exceed $2.5 million.

For more event or sponsorship info, go to www.ITFSeniorsWorldChampionships2014.com.





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