Fed Cup: Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Coco Vandeweghe headline US team facing Czech Republic in the semifinals

Fed Cup: Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Coco Vandeweghe headline US team facing Czech Republic in the semifinals

Alongside Mattek-Sands and Vandeweghe, team captain Kathy Rinaldi has named Lauren Davis and Shelby Rogers for the semifinal.

oliver-dickson-jefford
Oliver Dickson Jefford

America’s Fed Cup captain Kathy Rinaldi has announced her team to face the Czech Republic in the semifinals of the tournament weekend, with doubles world number one Bethanie Mattek-Sands leading the team that will face the defending champions in Tampa next weekend for a place in the final.

Mattek-Sands is joined by Australian Open semifinalist Coco Vandeweghe, ASB Classic champion Lauren Davis, and Shelby Rogers, as America looks to make the final for the first time since 2010, and win the title for the first time since 2000.

Rinaldi makes one change in lineup

The US got their Fed Cup campaign this year off to a good, easing to a 4-0 win over Germany in Maui, and Rinaldi’s faith in the majority of her team shows, with the only change being Davis coming in to replace Alison Riske.

Lauren Davis with the ASB Classic trophy after winning her maiden WTA title in the opening week of the season (Getty/Anthony Au-Yeung)
Lauren Davis with the ASB Classic trophy after winning her maiden WTA title in the opening week of the season (Getty/Anthony Au-Yeung)

Riske won her singles tie against Andrea Petkovic in Maui, though Rinaldi will be hoping that Davis’ positive start to 2017, which includes a maiden WTA title in Auckland, will mean she will be able to secure vital points if she is chosen over Rogers for a singles tie.

In the absence of more established American stars such as the Williams sisters, Madison Keys, and the injured Sloane Stephens, Vandeweghe has proved her worth, winning both her singles ties against Germany. She will be a formidable opponent for the Czech team following a start to the season that saw her reach the last four in Melbourne.

Alongside doubles partner Lucie Safarova, who is not in the opposing Czech team, Mattek-Sands is having a fine season and her presence will likely make the US favorites in the potentially deciding doubles tie, especially considering her recent form. Also, Rogers, who played with Mattek-Sands in the doubles against Germany, will have some confidence after wins over the likes of Simona Halep and Madison Keys, and will be dangerous whether she plays singles or doubles.

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