The last time the USA played Italy on clay in Fed Cup competition was ten years ago. At that time, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Monica Seles were on the USA Fed Cup team, and the USA won the World Group 1 semifinal. In fact, the USA has won all nine of its Fed Cup matches against Italy.
This is the first time that the two countries have played in a Fed Cup final. Italy defeated Russia to get to the final, and if Italy wins this year's Fed Cup, it will go to the top of the ITF rankings for the first time. Italy won Fed Cup in 2006, and the USA has won the title 17 times. Italy was the finalist in 2007.
Two Fed Cup specialists, Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta, will be playing for Italy. Roberta Vinci has a 13-0 record in Fed Cup doubles matches, and her record will be tested next weekend if she winds up playing against Liezel Huber.
The Italian team also includes Sara Errani, and the clay surface is the choice of the Italian team members. Vania King has just been added to the USA team, which also includes 2009 Fed Cup stars Melanie Oudin and Alexa Glatch.