Venus leads U.S. Fed Cup team

February 4, 2016

LOS ANGELES – Tennis Channel will provide exclusive live coverage of the U.S. Fed Cup team’s competition against Poland in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, this weekend, with telecasts Saturday, Feb. 6, beginning at 4 p.m. ET, and Sunday, Feb. 7, beginning at 3 p.m. ET. This year the United States is battling to return to the main field of contenders for next year’s Fed Cup competition, and must defeat Poland to keep its hopes alive for the 2017 tournament. Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will lead Sloane Stephens, Coco Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands as they fight for a spot in next year’s competition.

In addition to televising United States-Poland this weekend, Tennis Channel will cover Fed Cup first-round competition between 2016 Fed Cup contenders Germany and Switzerland live, in Leipzig, Germany, beginning at 7 a.m. ET Saturday, Feb. 6, and beginning at 6 a.m. ET Sunday, Feb. 7. Australian Open champion and World No. 2 Angelique Kerber will lead the German charge against Switzerland and World No. 11 Belinda Bencic.

Sportscaster Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman) and Hall of Famer and former U.S. Fed Cup player Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76), will be in Kailua Kona covering the United States-Poland match for Tennis Channel this weekend. During Davenport’s Fed Cup career, she contributed to U.S. team championships in 1996, 1999 and 2000. Broadcaster Russ Thaler (@RussThaler) will call the action during the Germany-Switzerland tie this weekend, with Hall of Famer Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) and former player Paul Annacone (Paul_Annacone).

Tennis Channel’s live Fed Cup coverageis as follows (all time ET):

Saturday, Feb. 6:

Sunday, Feb. 7:

The United States hopes to uphold its unbeaten record against Poland (3-0), with victories coming in 1990, 1980 and 1974. The most recent competition was during the 1990Fed Cup first round, when the U.S. team beat Poland 3-0 in Atlanta, Georgia. The American squad must defeat Poland and then win another head-to-head Fed Cup competition in April in order to qualify for the 2017 tournament. The United States leads all nations with 17Fed Cup championships, the most recent in 2000.

The U.S. Fed Cup team is captained by retired American tennis star Mary Joe Fernandez, who as a player helped her Fed Cup team win the championship in 1996. Venus Williams captured the 48th WTA title of her career at the WTA Elite Open in Zhuhai, China in November. She also holds 13 doubles titles, two mixed doubles titles and four Olympic gold medals, including one in singles and three in doubles with her sister Serena. Stephens recently defeated Julia Goerges at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, to win her second WTA title. Vandeweghe achieved her career-best result in 2015, after advancing to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. In 2015, Mattek-Sands won the Australian Open and French Open women’s doubles titles with Lucie Safarova and the French Open mixed doubles title with Mike Bryan.

If Poland wins this weekend it will qualify for a chance to play for the 2017 Fed Cup. The team is captained by Klaudia Jans-Ignacikand features Magda Linette, Paula Kania and Alicja Rosolska.

In addition to daylong Fed Cup coverage this weekend, Tennis Channel will also periodically look in at the men’s tournaments in Montpellier, France, and Quito, Ecuador, as part of its world-whipraound telecast.