A star-studded lineup of WTA players—including nine of the Top 20 players in the world—will battle it out on courts across the globe as the first wave of Fed Cup ties takes place this week.
The two highest-ranked players in action, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova, are in the same tie—the World Group tie between Romania and the Czech Republic—and they’ll actually play each other.
No. 3 Halep leads No. 5 Pliskova in their head-to-head, 6-2, but Pliskova did win their most recent meeting in straight sets (at Madrid last year) as well as their only previous Fed Cup meeting (in 2016).
Joining Halep on the Romanian team will be Mihaela Buzarnescu, Irina-Camelia Begu, Ana Bogdan and Monica Niculescu, and joining Pliskova on the Czech team will be Katerina Siniakova, Marketa Vondrousova and Barbora Krejcikova. The Czechs have won the Fed Cup six of the last eight years.
Another very high-profile clash could take place in the World Group tie between the United States and Australia, who are led by another pair of Top 20 players in No. 17 Madison Keys and No. 13 Ashleigh Barty, respectively. Joining Keys on the American team are Danielle Collins (who made a shocking run to her first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open), Sofia Kenin (who almost took out then-No. 1 Halep in the second round in Melbourne) and Nicole Melichar (America’s top-ranked doubles player).
Two more Top 20 players are in action in the other two World Group ties: No. 9 Aryna Sabalenka (who, alongside two-time Grand Slam champion and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, will lead Belarus against Germany) and No. 19 Caroline Garcia (who leads France against Belgium).
The four World Group II ties pit Italy against Switzerland, Japan against Spain, the Netherlands against Canada and Slovakia against Latvia—the Latvian team is led by another Top 20 player, No. 12 Anastasija Sevastova, with 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko also on the team.
Two more Top 20 players play Zone Group ties: No.14 Daria Kasatkina and No. 20 Anett Kontaveit.
Kasatkina and Kontaveit will actually both be playing in Zielona Gora, Poland, as Russia and Estonia both try to get through to the next round.
“The court here is pretty special,” Kasatkina told FedCup.com. “It’s pretty slow, which is good for me, and I like the arena. It’s also a basketball arena, it’s new and pretty cozy.
“The team is giving me confidence. We’re having a pretty good time here and I’m feeling really good.”
Zone Group action begins on Wednesday, while World Group and World Group II ties start Saturday.
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