Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Collins, Kenin head U.S. team for Fed Cup final

Danielle Collins, playing at Indian Wells in March, and two other Americans
will make their Fed Cup debut in the Nov. 10-11 final against the Czech Republic
in Prague. Photo by Mal Taam
   Danielle Collins, a semifinalist at the inaugural Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose in August, will lead the defending champion United States against the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup final Nov. 10-11 in Prague.
   The 35th-ranked Collins and No. 48 Sofia Kenin will make their Fed Cup debuts, as will Nicole Melichar, a Czech native ranked 15th in doubles. Joining them will be Alison Riske, a member of last year's team that beat host Belarus in the final. She is ranked 63rd in singles.
   Absent will be the United States' top three singles players -- No. 6 Sloane Stephens, No. 15 Serena Williams and No. 16 Madison Keys -- as well as No. 40 Venus Williams and 2017 team members CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
   Kenin, the youngest player in the top 50, will turn 20 three days after the final. She has won a Northern California Challenger in each of the past three years, including the $60,000 Berkeley Tennis Club Challenge in July.
   Riske reached the semifinals of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2016 and the quarterfinals there in 2015.
   The Czech Republic will field a formidable team with No. 7 Petra Kvitova, No. 8 Karolina Pliskova, doubles No. 1 Katerina Siniakova and doubles No. 5 Barbora Strycova. All four played in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford before it moved to San Jose this year. Pliskova advanced to the 2015 final, losing to Angelique Kerber, and Siniakova was the doubles runner-up in 2014 at age 18 with Paula Kania of Poland.
   The United States leads all nations with 18 Fed Cup titles. The Czech Republic is next with 10, including five in the last seven years.
   Tennis Channel will televise the best-of-five-match series, on a hard court in Prague's 10,700-seat O2 Arena, beginning at 5 a.m. PST on Nov. 10.

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