Kristina Mladenovic has withdrawn from the Fed Cup World Group Play-Offs this weekend because of an injured right forearm. France's most notable doubles player will be replaced on the French team by Claire Feuerstein. Not having Mladenovic on the team is a disadvantage for France, but only if the contest against team USA should go to a fifth, deciding rubber. Singles play will be handled by Katowice champion Alize Cornet and Bogota champion Caroline Garcia, with Virginie Razzano standing by.
Here's a bit of the press conference transcript:
Have you had a chance to experience St. Louis or done anything fun around the city?
Cornet: Is there some fun? Is there some fun things to do? We're motivated to know that!
Garcia: We been to the Hard Rock Cafe yesterday, but we were the only ones.
Meanwhile, USA captain Mary Joe Fernandez said of her team's opponents: "...Their top two are coming off big wins last week, one in Poland and one in Columbia. Cornet, the top player, is a great competitor and runs a lot of balls down--great backhand. Garcia is very aggressive. I think she's 20 right now...."
And from Sloane Stephens: "...Got to just go out there and do your thing, and hopefully everything goes well."
The draw will take place on Friday at the St. Louis Public Library.