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U.S. Can Capture 18th Fed Cup Championship

*LOS ANGELES — * Tennis Channel will provide complete coverage of the U.S. Fed Cup team’s championship competition against Italy in Reggio Calabria this weekend, with live telecasts Saturday and Sunday. The year-ending final will consist of two singles matches on Saturday, Nov. 7, and two reverse singles matches and the doubles match Sunday, Nov. 8. Tennis Channel will carry all matches live, beginning at 5 a.m. ET each day, followed by encore replays each evening.

Coverage from Circolo del Tennis “Rocco Polimeni” is as follows (subject to change):

Saturday, Nov. 7:

5 a.m. - Live Singles #1 7 a.m. - Live Singles #2 {9 p.m. - “Instant Encore” Singles #1} {11 p.m. - “Instant Encore” Singles #2}

Sunday, Nov. 8:

5 a.m. - Live Singles #3 7 a.m. - Live Singles #4 9 a.m. - Live Doubles {5 p.m. - “Instant Encore” Singles #3} {7 p.m. - “Instant Encore” Singles #4} {9 p.m. - “Instant Encore” Doubles}

The United States and Italy have never faced each other in the championship round of Fed Cup play and the U.S. team hopes to uphold its all-time unbeaten record of 9-0 against Italy. The most recent competition between the two countries took place in the 2003 Fed Cup quarterfinal, when the United States defeated Italy 5-0 in Washington, D.C. The United States enters this weekend’s matchup after reaching the 2009 Fed Cup final for the first time since 2003, when it defeated the Czech Republic 3-2 in Brno, Czech Republic, in April. The United States, which already has won the most Fed Cup titles of any country, is attempting to win its 18th in Italy this weekend. The United States won its most recent Fed Cup in 2000, defeating Russia 5-0 in Las Vegas.

The 2009 U.S. Fed Cup team is captained by retired American tennis star Mary Joe Fernandez, who won the Fed Cup championship as a player in 1996. Rising star Melanie Oudin, comes into this weekend’s championship on the momentum of the best summer of her young career. She defeated former World No. 1 Jelena Janković at Wimbledon before upsetting 2008 Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva and former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova to become the youngest American to reach the US Open quarterfinals since 1999. Alexa Glatch is building on a career year that saw her win her fifth singles title at the USTA Pro Circuit in Laguna Niguel, Calif., in January and match her best Grand Slam performance by upsetting Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in the first round of the French Open. On the doubles front, Liezel Huber, currently ranked No. 1, is a four-time Grand Slam champion, recently winning the US Open with doubles partner Cara Black. Vania King currently holds seven doubles titles and comes into this weekend’s match after an impressive quarterfinal run at Wimbledon with doubles partner Anna-Lena Groenefeld, before losing to eventual champions Venus and Serena Williams.

Italy has reached the Fed Cup final for the third time in four years and is biding to win its second title after defeating Belgium 3-2 in the 2006 Fed Cup final. The Italians enter this weekend’s match after disappointing France 5-0 in the first round and three-year defending Fed Cup champion Russia 4-1 in the semifinal. The team is captained by Corrado Barazzutti and features Italian tennis stars Flavia Pennetta, Francesca Schiavone, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

 

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