When: Friday, February 7th to Saturday, February 8th
Where: Angel of the Wind Arena in Everett, WA
Surface: Hard (Indoor)
Head to Head Record: 0-0
This winner of this best-of-5 series secures a spot in the Finals, set to be held in April.
This is the first year under the new Fed Cup format, which follows a similar formula to the one adopted by the Davis Cup in 2019.
It replaces the old World Group with a six-day event.
The two teams had never played against each other before since this is Latvia’s second appearance outside the zonal qualifiers.
Team nomination: Serena Williams, Sofia Kenin, Alison Riske, Coco Gauff, Bethanie Mattek-Sands
The United States is coming at full force.
Serena Williams returns to the Fed Cup following a two-year absence and will lead a star-filled American roster.
She is joined by rising stars Sofia Kenin and Coco Gauff along with the experienced Alison Riske and doubles specialist Bethanie-Mattek Sands.
Kenin is fresh off her first major title, having just won the Australian Open.
Riske reached the Australian Open’s fourth round for the first time in her career.
At the age of 15, Gauff is set to become the second-youngest player in Fed Cup history and is also coming off a fourth-round appearance in Australia.
Nine-time slam champion Mattek-Sands will likely be joined by Kenin in doubles.
This lineup is built for a deep Finals run and is among the contenders to lift the Fed Cup trophy in April.
The American team is the favorite for this matchup by a significant margin.
After making it back-to-back finals in 2017 and 2018, the American team faced a disappointing first-round exit from last year’s World Group.
It successfully secured a spot in the qualifying round by defeating Switzerland in a close five-match playoff.
The draw is set.
— USTA (@usta) February 6, 2020
Team nomination: Anastasija Sevastova, Jelena Ostapenko, Diana Marcinkevica, Daniela Vismane
Latvia successfully advanced from the zonal qualifiers for the first time since 1995.
The team had to beat Poland, Turkey, Austria, Serbia, Russia and Slovakia in order to reach Group II.
While it ended up losing to Germany in the playoffs, Latvia secured a spot in the qualifiers by having the highest ITF ranking among the losing teams.
The team is led by 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and WTA Tour veteran Anastasija Sevastova.
The two are joined by ITF regular Diana Marcinkevica and 19-year old Daniela Vismane, who has only played one match at the WTA level.
Latvia’s most realistic goal for this series is to win at least one match.
Other than that, the team has virtually no chances of defeating a much superior United States team.
Latvia’s hopes of winning at least one match reside with Ostapenko and Sevastova.
But Ostapenko’s best days are already behind her.
Sevastova, despite being fairly consistent at the WTA level, does not have the same skill set as her opponents.
The United States have a fairly easy matchup and should have little trouble getting past their opponent.
Final score prediction: United States 3-0.
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