Week #16 preview: Fed Cup

This week there are no WTA tournaments as the Fed Cup semifinals will be held. 4 times champions in the last 5 years, Russia, with Kuznetsova, Petrova and Chakvetadze, will be again the favourite to overcome Italy, but the Italians, with Pennetta, Schiavone, Errani and Vinci, are always a dangerous team, especially playing on clay and with the crowd support, and they are the only ones who have defeated Russia in the last 5 years. In Brno, a strong Czech Republic team with Benesova, Kvitova and Safarova could make history reaching their first final since the split of Czechoslovakia, if they overcome the US team again weakened by the absence of Williams Sisters and leaded by Bethanie Mattek.

Also the play-offs to World-Group will be held this weekend, featuring very open and interesting ties. Serbian "dream team" with Jankovic and Ivanovic will try to finally reach the World Group, although they will have to defeat the solid Spanish team, with Medina, Martinez and Llagostera, that will count with the crowd support and their favourite clay surface. Another historic team, France, with Cornet and Mauresmo, is in trouble and will have to overcome a strong Slovakian team with Cibulkova, Hantuchova and Rybarikova, to keep their place in World Group. The tie between Germany, with Groenefeld and Lisicki, and China, with Zheng and Peng, seems very open, while Ukraine could promote to World Group for the first time if the Bondarenko sisters are able to defeat a weak Argentinian team with no top 100.

Finally, Canada, Estonia, Poland and Australia will fight with Belgium, Israel, Japan and Switzerland for a place in World Group II next year in the World Group II play-offs.

Fed Cup, World Group Semifinals
Italy vs Russia
Czech Republic vs uSA

World Group play-offs
Spain vs Serbia
France vs Slovakia
Germany vs China
Argentina vs Ukraine

World Group II play-offs
Belgium vs Canada
Estonia vs Israel
Poland vs Japan
Australia vs Switzerland

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