Fed Cup: Daria Gavrilova and Sam Stosur Headline Australia's Fed Cup Team Against USA

Alicia Molik, current captain of Australia’s Fed Cup team, made her nominations for Australia’s upcoming tie against the Americans. They look to do better than their disappointing results from last year, as well as to move into the World Group for the 42nd time. The Aussie team will consist of Samantha Stosur, Daria Gavrilova, Casey Dellacqua, and Arina Rodionova.

Gavrilova Gears Up

Daria Gavrilova will make her Fed Cup debut on April 16th in Brisbane, Australia. The young Aussie recently became an Australian and was told she could not participate in Fed Cup action because the new regulation required her to be an Australian citizen for at least two years. Gavrilova argued that she was eligible at the time she became Australian and her case was appealed, allowing her to be a part of the green and gold team.

The 22-year-old is fresh off two disappointing early losses in both Indian Wells and Miami. But Gavrilova has played her best tennis down under this year as she advanced to the second week of the Australian Open and took the Hopman Cup title with Nick Kyrgios in Perth. The World Group playoff tie will be contested on red clay which is the surface she has tallied wins over Ana Ivanovic, Timea Bacszinsky, and Belinda Bencic. The world number 37’s recent struggles will hopefully decrease as she needs her best tennis against a talented American team.

Gavrilova in Perth at the Hopman Cup 2016. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Gavrilova in Perth at the Hopman Cup 2016. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Stosur Hopes to Shine

Samantha Stosur is a part of Australian Fed Cup history as she holds the most singles wins for her nation, but her inability to play well in her home country has been a constant struggle for the veteran. Earlier this year, she bounced back from a disappointing two-year Fed Cup win drought with three rubber wins over Slovakia. Her two most recent titles have come on the red dirt, giving the Aussie confidence going into the tie.

Stosur currently has an 8-3 combined win-loss record against the four American nominations. She has yet to drop a match to Christina McHale, Madison Keys, or Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Her only losses against any of the players have been to Coco Vandeweghe, as Stosur trails one win to three. Her performance slumps in Australia will hopefully be overshadowed by her clay court success, considering she has won 82 percent of her Fed Cup matches on clay.

Stsour hits a backhand. Photo: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images
Stosur hits a backhand. Photo: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

Dellacqua and Rodionova Cap Off Aussie Nominations

Casey Dellacqua will suit up in green and gold for her 19th career Fed Cup tie. Earlier this year, she clinched the decisive doubles rubber alongside Stosur. She holds a 16-9 record, with 10 of her wins coming in the pressure-filled doubles rubber. Dellacqua’s success extends beyond the doubles court. Although she has reached six grand slam doubles finals, she has also reached the second week of a grand slam singles draw on three separate occasions.

Just like Gavrilova, Arina Rodionova was born in Russia and represents Australia. She made her Fed Cup debut earlier this February against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia. Despite losing, she pushed a player nearly 250 ranking spots ahead of her to three sets. She holds a top-100 doubles ranking and has the desire to be great one day by putting in much hard work.

Dellacqua hits a serve at the US Open. Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Dellacqua hits a serve at the US Open. Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

Battle In Brisbane

Australia’s line-up will need to display their best tennis in order to overcome their tough American opponents. The United States team has shown recent top form, but will be given a run for their money by the just-as-talented Aussies. The green and gold have the home-crowd advantage but the depth of the Americans will match the Australian’s advantage. In the winner-moves-on situation, Alicia Molik put together a strong team to possibly move her nation back into the World Group.