The next phase of the 2019 Fed Cup hits on 20-21 April as Simona Halep leads Romania against France in the first semifinal, while Ashleigh Barty’s Australia host Belarus in a bid to reach their first final since 1993. Meanwhile, 16 more nations compete in World Group and World Group II play-off ties, including the Czech Republic, 2017 champions USA, Germany, Russia and Great Britain.
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|Event||Fed Cup Final
|Date||10 Novermber 2019|
Matches from all levels of Fed Cup, from the World Group final in October to the zonal groups, are available to stream live online.
With so many of the world’s top players passionate about representing their countries as they bid for Fed Cup glory, you can see top-10 players face off in a unique pressure-cooker atmosphere which cows some players and brings the best out of others.
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Whether you’re partaking in some in-play betting or just tuning in to see how a favourite gets on, you can enjoy safe, legal, high-quality streams of Fed Cup matches.
Fed Cup Schedule 2019
Fed Cup 2019
|Date – Time||Event Name||Location|
|09 Nov 2019 00:00||Final|
Fed Cup World Group SEMIFINALS, 20-21 APRIL
France (4) vs Romania
Location: Rouen, France
Surface: Indoor clay
France: Caroline Garcia, Pauline Parmentier, Alize Cornet, Kristina Mladenovic, Julien Benneteau (captain)
Romania: Simona Halep, Mihaela Buzarnescu, Irina-Camelia Begu, Monica Niculescu, Raluca Olaru, Florin Segarceanu (captain)
Romania caused one of the bigger upsets of recent years when they defeated the Czech Republic in the first round, with Simona Halep scoring singles victories over Karolina Pliskova and Katerina Siniakova before Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu combined to win the doubles.
It put Romania into the semifinals of the Fed Cup for just the second time, having got that far in 1973, and now the team led by world no. 2 Halep is out to make it to the final, a national first. They are up against two-time champions France, who last featured in the final in 2016. Captain Julien Benneteau’s side, buoyed by the return of top-20 player Caroline Garcia, beat Belgium 3-2 with Alize Cornet contributing a surprise win over Elise Mertens.
Australia vs Belarus (4)
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Venue: Pat Rafter Arena
Surface: Outdoor hard courts
Australia: Ashleigh Barty, Daria Gavrilova, Samantha Stosur, Priscilla Hon, Alicia Molik (captain)
Belarus: Aryna Sabalenka, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Victoria Azarenka, Vera Lapko, Lidziya Marozava, Tatiana Poutchek (captain)
The Pat Rafter Arena, better known as the venue for the Brisbane International, plays host to an intriguing Fed Cup semifinal in April.
Australia have won the Fed Cup seven times but have been in the doldrums in recent years and haven’t made the final since 1993. But with captain Alicia Molik’s team led by Ashleigh Barty, who recently broke into the top 10 for the first time after winning her biggest title at the Miami Open, hopes are high, with Barty having contributed singles wins over Madison Keys and Sofia Kenin as well as teaming up with Priscilla Hon for the deciding doubles in their first-round win over the USA.
Belarus are not to be underestimated, though, with the powerful Aryna Sabalenka – another top-10 player – joined by Aliaksandra Sasnovich and former world no. 1 Victoria Azarenka, whose recent run to the Monterrey final gave rise to hopes of a return to form. Belarus made the Fed Cup final in 2017 and are very capable of defeating the hosts.
FED CUP WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS, 20-21 APRIL
The four nations who lost their first-round World Group ties must face off with the four winning nations from World Group II, with the winner to be in the World Group in 2020 and the loser relegated to World Group II.
Czech Republic (1) vs Canada
Location: Prostejov, Czech Republic
Venue: National Tennis Academy
Surface: Indoor clay
Czech Republic: Marketa Vondrousova, Karolina Muchova, Marie Bouzkova, Lucie Safarova, Barbora Krejcikova, Petr Pala (captain)
The Czech Republic, who have won the Fed Cup six of the past eight years and are the defending champions, suffered an unusual defeat to Romania in the first round and find themselves having to beat Canada to avoid falling out of the World Group for the first time since 2008.
Canada, though, might prove to be a tougher nut to crack than in the past, with Indian Wells champion Bianca Andreescu having proved she’s a force to be reckoned with at the top of the game.
USA (2) vs Switzerland
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Venue: Freeman Coliseum
Surface: Indoor hard
USA: Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Sofia Kenin, Jessica Pegula, Jennifer Brady, Kathy Rinaldi (captain)
Switzerland: Viktorija Golubic, Timea Bacsinszky, Conny Perrin, Yiena In-Albon, Heinz Guendhardt (captain)
The most successful nation in Fed Cup history, the USA were unable to stop themselves falling to Ashleigh Barty’s Australia in the first round and the 2017 champions, who were also runners-up to the Czech Republic in 2018, must now beat Switzerland to retain their place in the World Group.
Switzerland, who dominated Italy 3-1 in the first round, are missing Dubai champion Belinda Bencic and look unlikely to get their first win over the USA in nine attempts as the hosts field a strong side led by world no. 8 Sloane Stephens and Charleston champion Madison Keys.
Latvia vs Germany (3)
Location: Riga, Latvia
Venue: Arena Riga
Surface: Indoor hard
Latvia: Anastasija Sevastova, Jelena Ostapenko, Diana Marcinkevica, Daniela Vismane, Patricija Sparka, Adrians Zguns (captain)
Germany: Angelique Kerber, Julia Goerges, Andrea Petkovic, Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Jens Gerlach (captain)
Germany are trying to ensure they retain their place in the World Group for a seventh straight year, having suffered a fairly humiliating 0-4 defeat to Belarus at home in Braunschweig in the first round, with the absence of Angelique Kerber leaving them vulnerable despite the best efforts of Tatjana Maria, Andrea Petkovic and Laura Siegemund.
Latvia, meanwhile, romped over Slovakia 4-0, led by former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and top-15 player Anastasija Sevastova, and will like their chances to secure a place in the World Group for the first time.
Belgium (4) vs Spain
Location: Kortrijk, Belgium
Venue: Lange Munte Kortrijk
Surface: Indoor hard
Belgium: Alison van Uytvanck, Kirsten Flipkens, Ysaline Bonaventure, Yanina Wickmayer, Johan van Herck (captain)
Spain: Garbine Muguruza, Carla Suarez Navarro, Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov, Georgina Garcia-Perez, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Anabel Medina Garrigues (captain)
Belgium’s fate was really sealed when their top singles player, Elise Mertens, suffered a surprise loss to Alize Cornet on the first day of their first-round tie against France, and they never really recovered, leaving the 2001 champions to fight for their place in the World Group.
Spain, meanwhile, are working to get back into the World Group having been relegated in 2017, and edged Japan 3-2 despite the absence of their top singles players Carla Suarez Navarro and Garbine Muguruza – players they will be hoping return to face Belgium.
FED CUP WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS, 20-21 APRIL
The four nations who lost their first-round World Group II ties in February face off with the four nations who won their zonal round-robin ties and will therefore hope to make it back to the global level of competition.
Russia (1) vs Italy
Location: Moscow, Russia
Venue: CSKA Indoor Track and Field Complex
Surface: Indoor clay
Russia: Daria Kasatkina, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Anastasia Potapova, Natalia Vikhlyantseva, Vlada Koval, Igor Andreev (captain)
Italy: Camila Giorgi, Sara Errani, Martina Trevisan, Jasmine Paolini, Tathiana Garbin (captain)
Both Italy and Russia are four-time Fed Cup champions but have fallen on hard times, with neither nation able to boast a top-20 player. Russia’s highest-ranked player is the out-of-form world no. 22 Daria Kasatkina, while Italy must look to unpredictable world no. 30 Camila Giorgi.
Japan vs Netherlands (2)
Location: Osaka, Japan
Venue: ITC Utsubo Tennis Centre
Surface: Outdoor hard
Netherlands: Richel Hogenkamp, Bibiane Schoofs, Lesley Kerkhove, Demi Schuurs, Paul Haarhuis (captain)
Narrowly defeated by Spain in the first round, Japan host the Netherlands as they try to maintain the World Group II status they won by beating Great Britain in a play-off in 2018. Richel Hogenkamp, Bibiane Schoofs and doubles player Demi Schuurs feature for the Netherlands.
Great Britain (3) vs Kazakhstan
Location: London, Great Britain
Venue: Copper Box Arena
Surface: Indoor hard
Great Britain: Johanna Konta, Katie Boulter, Heather Watson, Harriet Dart, Katie Swan, Anne Keothavong (captain)
Great Britain are four-time Fed Cup champions but have been strangers to the top levels of the competition in recent years. Beaten by Japan as they tried to secure World Group II status in 2018, captain Anne Keothavong will look to top singles player Johanna Konta as they host a Kazakhstan side likely to be led by world no. 38 Yulia Putintseva and world no. 104 Zarina Diyas.
Slovakia vs Brazil
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Venue: AXA Arena NTC
Surface: Indoor clay
Slovakia: Dominika Cibulkova, Viktoria Kuzmova, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Magdalena Rybarikova, Rebecca Sramkova, Matej Liptak (captain)
2002 Fed Cup champions Slovakia were flattened 0-4 by Latvia’s combination of Anastasija Sevastova and Jelena Ostapenko and must now host Brazil, who last reached the World Group II playoffs in 2014.
How does Fed Cup work?
The Fed Cup is effectively made up of three main groups – the World Group, the World Group II and the Zone Groups. The World Group is the elite division, which features eight nations, while the second tier World Group II also comprises eight countries, who battle for promotion into the premier division. The nations who do not make it into either of the top two divisions are placed into one of three zone groups, depending on the continent of the country. There is the Euro/Africa Zone, which houses countries in Africa and Europe, the American Zone is made up of countries in North and South America, while Asian and Oceanian nations fight for promotion in the Asia/Oceania Zone.
Each zone has its own sub-divisions- the American Zone has Groups 1 and 2; so does Asia/Oceania, while the Euro/Africa Zone, being the largest, has three sub-groups.
Between the three main groups are intermediate play-off groups which determine promotion and relegation.
The World Group ties adopt a knock-out format, with the four winners advancing to the semi-finals while the four losers drop into the World Group play-offs. These four teams are joined in the play-offs by the four winners from the World Group II ties. The eight teams then play four knock-out ties, with the winners either preserving their World Group status, or earning promotion into the elite group, if they were previously in the World Group II.
Further down the Fed Cup strata, the losers in the World Group II ties drop into the intermediate World Group II play-offs, where they will battle against the four best teams from the Zone Groups for their World Group II status. The American and the Asia/Oceania teams produce one team each, while Euro/Africa has two teams in the World Group II play-offs. Whoever wins these play-offs will play in the World Group II division in the next season, while the losers drop into the Zone Groups.
The World Group and World Group II ties (including play-offs) are decided over best of five rubbers, played across two days. The first day, a Saturday, features two singles ties, while the reverse singles are played on Sunday. A deciding fifth rubber, should it be required is also played on Sunday.
The host nation for these ties is determined by where the countries last played. Whoever hosted the most recent meeting between the countries will be away for the next tie, and vice versa. If the countries have never met before, the choice of ground is determined by lot.
The zone groups use a round-robin format, rather than the knock-out system employed by the higher divisions. The ties are played in one of the participating countries, and usually last up to four days. Ties are decided in best-of-three rubbers – two singles matches and one doubles rubber.
Fed Cup History
The Fed Cup officially began in 1963, but the seeds for the tournament were first sown in 1919, when Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman came up with the idea of a women’s team competition. Wightman did not get much by way of support, but in 1923, she went ahead to present a trophy, called the Wightman Cup, for the annual contest between the USA and Great Britain. The idea was picked up in 1962 by Mary Hardwick Hare, who persuaded the International Tennis Federation to start an international women’s team event. The ITF obliged in 1963, when the governing body created the Federation Cup. The first Federation Cup was a week-long event staged at the Queen’s Club in London and won by the United States. The tournament featured 16 nations and was graced by Grand Slam champions Billie Jean King, Darlene Hard, Lesley Turner and Margaret Court.
The inaugural Federation Cup was a big success, considering the fact that there were no sponsors and prize money, and teams had to pay their own expenses. However, as the tournament grew in popularity and sponsors came on board, the competition expanded, and by 1994, there were 73 participating teams with the home nation required to construct a special tennis complex in what became known as the Fed Cup legacy.
The rapid expansion of the Federation Cup meant teams had to be split into regional qualifying divisions, which first came into place in 1992, and three years later in 1995, the competition underwent a change in nomenclature, as it became known as the Fed Cup. Along with the new name came a new format, as the Fed Cup employed a home-and-away system so that players could play for their countries on home soil.
Several other transformations have occurred since then, but the current format, featuring eight-nation World Group and World Group II divisions and three region-based zonal groups has been in effect since 2005.