U.S. Begins Chase for Fed Cup Title

February 4, 2010

LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel will provide exclusive coverage of the U.S. Fed Cup team’s first-round competition against France in Lievin this weekend, with comprehensive telecasts Saturday, Feb. 6, and Sunday, Feb. 7. The battle between the 2009 Fed Cup runner-up and France will consist of two singles matches on Saturday, and two singles matches and the doubles match Sunday. Tennis Channel will carry all matches live, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET on Saturday and 8 a.m. ET on Sunday, followed by same-day encore coverage each evening at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Coverage from Stade Couvert Regional Lievin is as follows (subject to change):

Saturday, Feb. 6:

Sunday, Feb. 7:

The United States and France have faced each other eleven times in Fed Cup play, with the Americans winning all but one of those meetings. The most recent competition between the two countries took place in the 2003 Fed Cup final, when the French defeated the Americans 4-1 in Moscow. The United States enters this weekend’s matchup after reaching the 2009 Fed Cup final for the first time since 2003, losing 4-0 to Italy in Reggio Calabria this past November. The United States leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup championships, the most recent in 2000 when it defeated Russia 5-0 in Las Vegas.

The 2010 U.S. Fed Cup team is captained for the second-consecutive year by retired American tennis star Mary Joe Fernandez, who won the Fed Cup championship as a player in 1996. Melanie Oudin, the young American sensation who upset former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova at last year’s US Open, comes into this weekend’s match after losing a close match in the first round of the Australian Open to Alla Kudryavtseva. Shenay Perry, making her first Fed Cup appearance since 2006, has won two events on the USTA Pro Circuit in singles and comes into this weekend’s match after losing to another former World No. 1, Ana Ivanovic, in the first round at the Australian Open. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 37 last March, won three Sony Ericsson WTA Tour doubles titles last year. On the doubles front, Liezel Huber, World No. 1, is a four-time Grand Slam champion, recently reaching the finals of the Australian Open with doubles partner Cara Black before losing to sisters Venus and Serena Williams.

France, Fed Cup winner in 1997 and 2003, enters this weekend’s matchup after losing to Italy in the 2009 Fed Cup first-round. The French team is captained by Nicolas Escude and features Alize Cornet, Julie Coin, Pauline Parmentier, and Stephanie Cohen-Aloro.

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