U.S. Fed Cup team comprised of rising stars will hope to upset defending champion Italy next month in Cleveland, Ohio. – See more at: http://www.tennisnow.com/News/U-S-Fed-Cup-Team-to-Feature-Rising-Stars-Versus-It.aspx#sthash.uMwgDUzD.dpuf

A U.S. Fed Cup team comprised of rising stars will hope to upset defending champion Italy next month in Cleveland, Ohio. With injuries sidelining both Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens, U.S Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez will go with a young team in the first round tie starting on February 8. Madison Keys, Alison Riske, Christina McHale and Cleveland native Lauren Davis were announced as those who will try and send the U.S. into the next round. For Keys, Riske and Davis this will be their Fed Cup debut. McHale first competed in Fed Cup back in 2010. “We have a fresh group of young talent competing in this Fed Cup tie against Italy,” Fernandez said. “They’ve already won big matches on Grand Slam stages and are a reason why the future of American women’s tennis is so bright. Both Alison and Lauren had strong showings at the Australian Open earlier this month, Madison is the youngest player in the Top 40, and Christina has had valuable Fed Cup experience as well as solid showings in tournaments around the world. I have complete confidence in this team to step up and play great tennis in front of a patriotic crowd in Cleveland.” Italy will also field a relatively new team. Veteran players Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci and Francesca Schiavone were all permitted to skip next month’s tie due to upcoming tournaments in the Middle East. Karin Knapp, Camila Giorgi, Nastassja Burnett, and Alice Matteucci will comprise the Italian squad. This match will mark the fourth meeting between the U.S. and Italy in the last six years. While Italy has won the last three matchups, the U.S. leads the overall series, 9-3. The winner of this tie will advance to face either Spain or the Czech Republic in the semifinals on April 19-20 – See more at: http://www.tennisnow.com/News/U-S-Fed-Cup-Team-to-Feature-Rising-Stars-Versus-It.aspx#sthash.uMwgDUzD.dpuf