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By Erik Gudris

Serena Williams (April 10th, 2013) -- The U.S. will field a strong Fed Cup team as they attempt to get back into the main World Group this month.

U.S. Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez announced this morning that World No. 1 Serena Williams will lead the U.S. squad against Sweden when the two teams meet in Delray Beach, Florida on April 20-21 in a World Group playoff. Joining Williams will be her older sister Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and Varvara Lepchenko.

“I am really excited about the team that we have for this World Group Playoff,” said Fernandez. “With all four women ranked in the Top 30 and Serena playing as the No. 1 player in the world, we have great talent and depth, which is a perfect combination. We are looking forward to bringing some great tennis to Delray Beach, a city that has a strong history of supporting Fed Cup, and we know we can count on the crowd to give us that home-court edge.”

Sweden will see Sofia Arvidsson, Johanna Larsson, Hilda Melander, Sandra Roma suit up in the yellow and blue for their country. The tie will take place on an outdoor hard court at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.

It will mark the fifth meeting between the U.S. and Sweden. U.S. leads the overall head to head 3-1.

The rest of the World Group playoffs will feature Germany vs. Serbia, Switzerland vs. Australia, and Spain vs. Japan.

World Group Semifinal Teams Announced

While the U.S. aims to get back into contention for the title next year, four teams will face off for a chance to reach this year's finals in November.

Defending champions Czech Republic will travel to Palermo as they take on Italy. The Czech team will feature Petra Kvitova, Klara Zakopalova, Lucie Safarova and Lucie Hradecka while Italy will be represented by Sara Errani, Flavia Pennetta, Francesca Schiavone and Roberta Vinci.

Italy, who lost to the Czechs in last year's semis, will seek to upset the defending champions who haven't lost since April 2010. This tie will be contested on an outdoor clay court with both teams tied in their overall head to head at 4-all.

The second semi will be contested between Russia and the Slovak Republic in Moscow.

Fresh off upsetting Serbia 3-2 in the first round, the Slovak team will remain unchanged as Dominika Cibulkova, Magdalena Rybarikova, Daniela Hantuchova, and Jana Cepelova were selected to represent their country.

Russia will have on its roster Maria Kirilenko, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Ekaterina Makarova, and Elena Vesnina. Russia leads the head to head 2-0.
(Photo Credit: Fed Cup)

 

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