The USTA and U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez announced that world No. 1 and 13-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams and world No. 4 and five-time Wimbledon singles champion Venus Williams have committed to representing 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 in San Diego, November 6-7. The Williams sisters will join the core U.S. Fed Cup group of 2009 US Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and world No. 1 doubles player Liezel Huber, who have led the United States to its second straight Fed Cup Final.
"As captain, you always want to have your best players. I am very excited that Venus and Serena have made themselves available for the Fed Cup Final in San Diego," said Fernandez, who last year in her rookie season as captain led the U.S. to the Fed Cup Final for the first time since 2003. "Teaming Venus and Serena with Melanie, who continues to play an integral role in all of our Fed Cup matches, Bethanie, who has come through in decisive matches, and Liezel, who has been crucial in our doubles, we have one of the strongest line-ups in years. I strongly believe that this team can win the Fed Cup title on our home soil."
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. Per ITF rules for the Fed Cup Final, Sunday’s schedule is subject to change after one country wins three matches.
Fed Cup rules require nations to submit an initial official roster of three or four players no less than 10 days prior to the start of play. Captains can change one or two players on the final roster that is submitted up to one hour before the draw which is held the day before matches begin.
Tennis Channel will present live daily coverage of the U.S. vs. Italy Fed Cup Final.
Tickets for the 2010 Fed Cup Final between the U.S. and Italy will go on sale on Friday, August 20, at 10 a.m. PDT. Ticket prices range from $80 to $350 and are sold as two-day packages. Tickets can be purchased:
· by calling Ticketmaster at 888-334-USTA (8782)
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 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.
This will mark the first time the Fed Cup Final has been played in the United States since 2000, when the U.S. won their record 17th Fed Cup title. The match-up between the U.S. and Italy will mark the second consecutive Fed Cup Final between the two nations. The U.S. lost to Italy on a red clay court in Reggio Calabria, Italy last year, 4-0.
Both nations posted home victories in the semifinals in April. The United States won the decisive doubles match to post a 3-2 victory over Russia in Birmingham, Ala., and Italy defeated the Czech Republic 5-0 in Rome.
The U.S. is 9-1 all-time against Italy in Fed Cup competition, with the only loss being in last year’s Fed Cup Final. The two countries last squared off on American soil in the 2003 quarterfinal in Washington D.C., with the U.S. dominating the Italians 5-0 with a team of Chanda Rubin, Meghann Shaughnessy, Lisa Raymond and Alexandra Stevenson.
In the 1999 Fed Cup semifinal, Venus and Serena Williams competed in their first-ever Fed Cup matches, facing Italy in Ancona on red clay. Both Venus and Serena won their singles matches, as well as the doubles match together, to give the U.S. a 4-1 victory over the Italians.
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. For more information, including access to U.S. player and historical Fed Cup records, please go to www.usta.com/fedcup.
Wilson is the official tennis ball of the U.S. Fed Cup team.