Fed Cup 2015: The draw for the World Group Playoffs
TENNIS FED CUP 2015 – Italy will face a very tough World Group Play-off match against the USA at home. In the other Play-off matches the Netherlands will host Australia, Poland will take on Switzerland and Canada will play against Romania. Diego Sampaolo
The most intriguing match of the World Group Play-off to be played on 18-19 April will be the clash between Italy and the USA. The two teams met 13 times in history. The US team won the first nine head-to-head matches. Italy won the last four matches in the past six years in the two Fed Cup finals in 2009 and 2010 and the first-round matches in 2013 and 2014. In the last clash last year in Cleveland Karin Knapp and Camila Giorgi led Italy to a 3-1 win against a US team featuring Madison Keys, Christina McHale, Alison Riske and Lauren Davis.
In next April’s match Italy could face a much stiffer challenge as the US team will probably feature Serena and Venus Williams and Australian Open semifinalist Madison Keys who helped their team win 4-1 against Argentina in Buenos Aires in the World Group II match. The Williams sisters have not played very often in the Fed Cup but they are representing their country in order to be eligible for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The US will be looking to beat Italy for the first time in 16 years to return to the top-tier of the World Group. The US team has won 17 Fed Cup titles but they have not lifted this Trophy since 2000 with a star-studded team featuring Monica Seles, Lindsey Davenport and Jennifer Capriati.
Australia will start as the favourite when they will travel to the Netherlands, as the Aussie team have three players who ranked higher than Dutch Number 1 player Kiki Bertens.
Simona Halep will lead Romania who will start as favourite when they will travel to Canada.
Poland featuring sisters Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska will play against Switzerland probably in the Krakow Arena where they lost against Russia last week-end despite the strong support of 15000 fans. The Swiss team beat Sweden with a good team featuring World Number 36 and 37 players Timea Bacsinszky and Belinda Bencic.