Fed Cup semifinals and play-offs take place all over the world this weekend. In the semifinals, Italy will play defending champion Russia, and the USA will play the Czech Republic. Vera Zvonareva, however, is no longer on the Russian team because of the injury she sustained in Charleston last week.
The Chinese team has lost Li Na, who is continuing to have problems with her knee. She has been replaced by Peng Shuai in China's play-off against Germany.
Making her first Fed Cup appearance this weekend is Michelle Larcher de Brito. Bethanie Mattek-Sands will also be making her first appearance for the USA.
Italy will have both the home court and the clay court advantage in the semifinal against Russia. The Czech Republic vs. USA semifinal will take place in the Czech Republic on an indoor hard court.