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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday February 7, 2020


New year, new format. The 2020 Fed Cup will be drastically different in its 58th season, and fans might want to gear up quickly because this campaign will be over before we know it, with the 12-team final set for the third week of April in Budapest. So let’s familiarize ourselves with the new lay of the land and take a look at this weekend’s Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Qualifier matchups.

A brief breakdown:

This weekend 16 nations will compete for eight spots in April’s 12-team Fed Cup Finals in Budapest, Hungary. The eight winners of this weekend’s qualifier ties will join four teams—Australia, France, Hungary and Czech Republic—in the final at Budapest.

At the Final in Budapest, the 12 teams will be divided into four groups with the winner of each group qualifying for the semis.

Australia and France qualified for the final as last year’s Fed Cup finaliasts, while Hungary qualifies as host nation and the Czech Republic receives the wild card.

For more info on the new Fed Cup format click through here

Here are the matchups that will take place across three continents this weekend:

USA v Latvia:

The Americans will send out Sofia Kenin and Serena Williams (13-0 in Fed Cup singles) to deal with Anastasija Sevastova and Jelena Ostapenko. It will be interesting to see how Kenin and Williams perform after their very different Australian Open experiences, against a talented Latvian team.


Netherlands v Belarus:

Kiki Bertens will look to prove herself on the red clay in the Hague, but Belarus has Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich to counter.


Romania v Russia:

Without Simona Halep in the mix Russia will be the big favorites as Ekaterina Alexandrova and Veronika Kudermetova will hope to come away with the win on Romanian soil.


Brazil v Germany:

Could be a tall order for Brazil, even on its favored red clay of Florianopolis and in Gustavo Kuerten's hometown, with no singles players inside the Top 200. Laura Siegemund and Tatjana Maria will look to get Germany through.


Spain v Japan:

Naomi Osaka will be in action on the red clay in Cartagena, Spain, and it will be interesting to see her face Carla Suarez Navarro on Day 2 of this tie (if it happens). Should be a great test of Osaka’s clay game—she’ll meet Sara Sorribes Tormo on Day 1.


Switzerland v Canada:

No Bianca Andreescu in Biel, Switzerland, means that Canada goes into underdog mode with the talented 17-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez and Genie Bouchard swinging into singles duty. Belinda Bencic and Jill Teichmann will hold it down for the Swiss.


Belgium v Kazakhstan:

This promises to be a tense tie in Kortrijk, Belgium as two very talented—and evenly matched—teams do battle. Zarina Diyas and Elise Mertens will kick things off, followed by Yulia Putintseva and Ysaline Bonaventure.


Slovakia v Great Britain:

Life without the warrior Dominika Cibulkova could prove tricky for Team Slovakia. They’ll play host to Team Great Britain in Bratislava and send out Viktoria Kuzmova and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova against Heather Watson and Harriet Dart. Sounds like a great opportunity for both teams.

 

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