February Brings Fed Cup First Round
After the excitement of the Australian Open, betting fans will be looking for more world-class tennis action online. They don’t have too long to wait; the top team event in women’s tennis starts in the second week of February. Only eight teams play in the Fed Cup World Group, although the first round of the World Group II competition will take place on the same weekend: February 11-12.
From April 22-23, the teams that finished at the bottom of the World Group ladder in Round 1 will meet the top teams in World Group II for playoffs to determine who will be in the 2018 World Group. On the same weekend, the top four teams in the World Group will play the Fed Cup semi-finals, with the finals to follow on November 11-12.
Locations All Over the Globe
The eight World Group teams will play the first round matches in four cities: Ostrava, Czech Republic; Minsk, Belarus; Geneva, Switzerland; and Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui, USA. The Czech team will host Spain, Belarus the Netherlands, the Swiss will meet France, and Hawaii will host the American/German matches.
Czech Republic is the top seed, followed by France and Germany. Czech Republic has won 10 Fed Cups in total, five of them in the past nine years; so even without Petra Kvitova, who is recovering from a shocking knife attack, the Czechs will be fielding a strong team.
Germany, on the other hand, will be missing World No. 1 Angelique Kerber for the Fed Cup’s Maui opener. She is scheduled to play in the Qatar Total Open, starting on February 13, and there is no way she could get back from Hawaii in time and properly rested for the Doha tournament.
The USA, with 17 Fed Cup wins, is the tournament’s record-holder. So the Americans are quite capable of surprising punters in the World Group’s Round 1.
Australia Strong in World Group II
But Australian women’s tennis fans will also want to keep an eye on the World Group II opening round. After Czech Republic’s 10 titles, Australia has the world’s third-best record in the Fed Cup: we’ve won the tournament seven times. Still smarting from the relegation to World Group II, the Australian team will get a chance to redeem itself with a first round away in February, against Ukraine.