LOS ANGELES, February 6, 2009 —
Action Starts Saturday as Stars Julie Ditty, Liezel Huber, Jill Craybas and Melanie Oudin Begin Quest for Championship
Tennis Channel will provide complete coverage of the U.S. Fed Cup team’s first round match up in Surprise, Ariz., this weekend, with live telecasts Saturday and Sunday.
First-round competition between the United States and Argentina will consist of two singles matches on Saturday, Feb. 7, and two singles matches and the doubles match Sunday, Feb. 8. Tennis Channel will carry all matches live, beginning at 2 p.m. ET each day.
Coverage from Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex is as follows (subject to change):
Saturday, Feb. 7: 2 p.m. ET Live – Singles
Sunday, Feb. 8: 2 p.m. ET Live – Singles and Doubles
The United States and Argentina have faced each other three times before, with the Americans winning two of those matches. The most recent competition was during the 1993 Fed Cup first round, when Argentina defeated the U.S. team 2-1 in Frankfurt, Germany. The United States enters this weekend’s matchup after reaching the 2008 Fed Cup semifinal for the fourth consecutive year before losing 2-3 to the eventual winner Russia in Moscow. The United States leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup championships, the most recent in 2000 when it defeated Russia 5-0 in Las Vegas. This will be the first time the United States will face Argentina under the best-of-five format.
In 2009 the U.S. Fed Cup team is captained for the first time by retired American tennis star Mary Joe Fernandez, who won the Fed Cup championship as a member of the U.S. team in 1996. This year’s squad includes Fed Cup newcomer Julie Ditty, who comes into this weekend’s match holding the record for USTA Pro Circuit titles, and Jill Craybas, who reached her first tour singles final in Thailand last year. On the doubles front, Liezel Huber, currently ranked No. 1 in the world in doubles, is a four-time Grand Slam champion, recently winning the US Open with doubles partner Cara Black. Also making her Fed Cup debut, Melanie Oudin, comes into this weekend’s match after an impressive quarterfinal run in Quebec City before losing to American
Bethanie Mattek, and winning her first professional title at the USTA Pro Circuit in Lexington, Kent., in July.
Argentina last reached the Fed Cup semifinals in 1986 and 1993. The team is captioned by Ricardo Rivera and features four of Argentina’s tennis stars including Gisela Dulko, Betina Jozami, Soledad Esperon and Aranza Salut.
Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and passionate lifestyle of tennis. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by eight of the top 10 MSOs and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.
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