US to face Australia in Fed Cup
April 6, 2016
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The USTA and United States Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez today announced that world No. 22 Madison Keys, No. 36 CoCo Vandeweghe, No. 57 Christina McHale, and world No. 3 doubles player Bethanie Mattek-Sands will represent the U.S. in the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Playoffs against Australia.
The best-of-five match series will be played on an outdoor clay court in Pat Rafter Arena at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane, Australia, April 16-17. The Queensland Tennis Centre is host to the ATP and WTA’s Brisbane International, an Australian Open tune-up event held in January.
The winner of this tie advances to the World Group in 2017, while the losing nation will compete in World Group II next year. The U.S. advanced to the Playoffs after winning its World Group II First Round tie in February by defeating Poland, 4-0, at the Holua Tennis Center in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Australia’s Fed Cup Captain Alicia Molik nominated No. 26 Samantha Stosur, No. 37 Daria Gavrilova, No. 231 Arina Rodionova, and Casey Dellacqua, who is ranked No. 6 in doubles. Gavrilova, who was born in Russia, became eligible to compete for Australia in Fed Cup last month.
“I am thrilled to have Madison playing with us again,” said Fernandez. “This team also has depth with CoCo, who has been playing well in both singles and doubles this year, as well as Christina, who has a lot of Fed Cup experience. Bethanie rounds out the team as a reliable doubles player with two impressive back to back doubles titles in Indian Wells and Miami. We haven’t played Australia in Fed Cup for quite some time and they will be a tough team, but we look forward to trying to get a win to get back into the World Group next year.”
Play begins Saturday, April 16, at 11 a.m. local time (9 p.m. ET the day prior) with two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Sunday’s schedule also begins at 11 a.m. local time and features two “reverse singles” matches, when the No. 1 players square off and the No. 2 players meet, followed by a doubles match. A revised schedule for Sunday may take place if a team clinches in the third or fourth match. Tennis Channel will present daily coverage.
The United States has faced Australia 13 times, holding an 8-5 overall record, and this will be the first time the two nations meet in the current World Group format.The two countries last met in the 1985 World Group Semifinal in Nagoya, Japan, where the U.S. won, 2-1. The U.S. and Australia have met a total of 10 times in the final to compete for the Fed Cup title, where the Americans hold a 7-3 advantage. The two nations also competed in the inaugural Fed Cup event in 1963, with the U.S. winning their first of 17 Fed Cup titles.
World No. 22 Keys, 21, is playing in her third Fed Cup tie after competing in two ties in 2014 and is 1-2 in Fed Cup singles matches and 1-1 in doubles. Keys advanced to her first career Grand Slam semifinal at the 2015 Australian Open, where she upset No. 4 seed Petra Kvitova and No. 18 seed Venus Williams. Keys peaked at No. 16 in the world shortly thereafter in May 2015 after reaching the final in Charleston and then reaching the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. This year, Keys reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and the quarterfinals in Miami. She captured her first WTA title at the grass-court event in Eastbourne, Great Britain in 2014, and in 2011, she became the youngest player to win a main draw match at the US Open since Nicole Vaidisova in 2005. In 2009, Keys became the youngest player (14 years, 48 days) since Martina Hingis in 1994 to win a WTA match.
World No. 36 Vandeweghe, 24, advanced to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2015 for her career-best result; she also advanced to the third round of the 2015 Australian Open to peak at No. 32 in February 2015.Vandeweghe won her first WTA title in 2014 in ‘S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, and reached her first pro final in 2012 at the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Stanford as a qualifier, losing to Serena Williams in the title match. Vandeweghe has also had success in doubles, advancing to the semifinals at the 2015 US Open and the quarterfinals at the 2016 Australian Open. She also won her first WTA doubles title this year in Indian Wells with Fed Cup teammate Mattek-Sands. Vandeweghe is playing in her second consecutive Fed Cup tie after playing doubles in Hawaii with Mattek-Sands, while this is her fourth Fed Cup tie overall. As a junior player, Vandeweghe won the 2008 US Open girls’ singles title.
World No. 57 McHale, 23, made her debut for the U.S. Fed Cup team in the 2010 quarterfinal and holds a 4-5 record in Fed Cup play (all singles), last playing in the 2015 World Group Playoffs in Italy.Her breakout season came in 2012, when she became the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic tennis team (four days younger than fellow 20-year-old Ryan Harrison) and reached the third round of three Grand Slam events that year. In turn, she peaked at No. 24 in the world.This year, McHale won the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Maui and advanced to the semifinals of the WTA event in Acapulco, Mexico. In 2014, she advanced to her first career WTA singles final in Acapulco and the semifinals in Seoul and Strasbourg. As a junior, McHale swept the singles and doubles titles at the 2009 USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships to earn wild cards into the US Open. That year, she also earned a wild card into the main draw of the Australian Open by winning a USTA wild card playoff. McHale trains at the USTA Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla.
World No. 89 Mattek-Sands, 31, is being named to her second consecutive Fed Cup tie and seventh tie overall. She is currently ranked a career-high No. 3 in the world in doubles after sweeping back-to-back doubles titles in Indian Wells (with Vandeweghe) and Miami (with Safarova) this year.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). At the 2012 Australian Open, Mattek-Sands teamed with Horia Tecau to win her first Grand Slam title in mixed doubles. In singles, Mattek-Sands played in 14 US Opens and reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2008 and the French Open in 2013 for her career-best Grand Slam results. In 2011, she was ranked a career-high No. 30 in the world in singles before being sidelined by a rotator cuff injury. Overall, she holds 19 WTA doubles titles and five USTA Pro Circuit singles titles. Mattek-Sands holds a 4-0 record in Fed Cup doubles and a 2-6 record in singles. In the 2010 Fed Cup semifinal, with the U.S. trailing Russia 2-1, Mattek-Sands won the fourth singles match to force the decisive doubles rubber and then partnered with Liezel Huber to win the doubles match and clinch a spot in the final for the U.S. Mattek-Sands then went on to face Italy in the 2010 final—the United States’ last appearance in a Fed Cup final.
The United States leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles, the last coming in 2000. The U.S. holds an overall 145-36 record in Fed Cup competition with a 107-30 record in away and neutral ties. Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis. It is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 101 nations taking part in 2016. For more information, including access to player and historical Fed Cup records, please go to usta.com/fedcup or fedcup.com. Follow the U.S. Fed Cup Team on Twitter @USFedCupTeam.
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