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U.S. Fed Cup names group to Face Italy in Final

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The USTA and U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez announced today that the core group of Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Melanie Oudin, and world No. 1 doubles player Liezel Huber, along with Fed Cup rookie Coco Vandeweghe, will represent the U.S. in the 2010 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final against Italy on an indoor hard court at the San Diego Sports Arena, November 6-7.

“Melanie, Liezel and Bethanie have repeatedly answered the call to play for their country and have together led the U.S. to its second consecutive Fed Cup Final,” said Fernandez, who became the first U.S. captain since 1986-87 to lead the U.S. to consecutive Fed Cup Final appearances in the first two years of captaincy. “We also are bringing on up-and-comer Coco, who is playing the best tennis of her young career, including a win this summer over (current world No. 2) Vera Zvonareva. The team is extremely motivated to try and win the Fed Cup for the U.S. for the first time in 10 years.”

The best-of-five match series begins on Saturday, November 6, with two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 singles player facing the No. 2 singles player from the other nation. The event concludes the next day with “reverse singles,” as the No. 1 player from each country face off, followed by the No. 2 singles players meeting. The second day of competition concludes with a doubles match.

Tennis Channel will present daily live coverage beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.

Mattek-Sands, 25, will make her fourth appearance for the U.S. Fed Cup team. With the U.S. trailing Russia 2-1 in the 2010 Fed Cup semifinal, Mattek-Sands won the fourth singles match to force the decisive double rubber. She then partnered with Liezel Huber to beat Elena Dementieva and Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 6-1, and clinch a spot in the final for the U.S., becoming the first player in U.S. Fed Cup history to win consecutive live Fed Cup matches on the final day of competition. Mattek-Sands is currently ranked No. 60 in the world in singles and No. 17 in doubles. She reached the doubles semifinals of Wimbledon this year with Fed Cup teammate Huber.

Oudin, 19, has been named to the U.S. Fed Cup team for six consecutive ties since making her debut in the first round last year. She has been the U.S.’ No. 1 singles player in the last three ties, earning two singles victories against France in the 2010 quarterfinal and going 1-1 in singles versus Russia in the semifinal. Oudin is currently ranked No. 68 in the world. In 2009, she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon, and then made headlines when she became the youngest American women’s singles quarterfinalist at the US Open since 1999. This year, Oudin reached the semifinals of the Paris Open and four WTA Tour quarterfinals. Huber, 34, has won five of her six career matches for the U.S. Fed Cup team, including tie-clinching semifinal matches in both 2009 and 2010 with partner Mattek-Sands. Currently the No. 1 doubles player in the world, Huber owns four Grand Slam event women’s doubles titles and won the 2010 US Open mixed doubles title with Bob Bryan. Born in South Africa, Huber spent four years on the South African Fed Cup team (1998-00, ’03) where she posted a 9-3 overall record (9-2 doubles) in 12 ties. She became a U.S. citizen on July 25, 2007, with the hopes of playing for the U.S. at the 2008 Olympic Games (where she teamed with Lindsay Davenport to reach the doubles quarterfinals).

Vandeweghe, 18, is currently ranked No. 115 after ending 2009 ranked No. 354. The 2008 US Open girls’ champion had a breakthrough performance this summer, reaching the quarterfinals of the Olympus US Open Series event in San Diego as a qualifier. That run included a third-round win over Vera Zvonareva. Last month, she reached the quarterfinals of the $2 million WTA event in Tokyo. She won a USTA wild card playoff to earn a berth into the 2010 Australian Open and won consecutive USTA Pro Circuit events this spring. Vandeweghe comes from an athletic family. Her mom, Tauna, represented the U.S. in both Olympic swimming and volleyball, and her uncle is former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe.

Tickets are still available for the 2010 Fed Cup Final in all price categories in single-day and two-day packages. Tickets can be purchased:

This will be the second consecutive Fed Cup Final between the U.S. and Italy. Both nations posted home victories in the semifinals in April. The U.S. defeated Russia, 3-2, after winning the decisive doubles match, while Italy posted a 5-0 victory over the Czech Republic.

The Italians, who are expected to be led by 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, are in the Fed Cup Final for the fourth time in five years. The U.S. leads the overall series 9-1, but Italy defeated the U.S., 4-0 in the 2009 Fed Cup Final in Reggio Calabria, Italy. The U.S. is 35-3 all-time in Fed Cup ties played in the U.S., and is 6-1 in Fed Cup Finals played at home.

The San Diego Sports Arena will be hosting Fed Cup for the first time. The venue also was the site for the 1989 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas quarterfinal between the United States and France, and will become the eighth U.S. venue to host both a Davis Cup and Fed Cup tie.

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the world’s largest annual international women’s team competition with 87 countries competing this year. The United States leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles - the last coming in 2000 - and is one of eight nations which will compete for the 2010 Fed Cup title as part of the Fed Cup World Group. For more information, including access to U.S. player and historical Fed Cup records, please go to usta.com/fedcup.

Wilson is the official tennis ball of the U.S. Fed Cup team.

 

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