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PHOTOS: Venus Williams to kick off Fed Cup play Saturday

Team USA at the draw ceremony for the Fed Cup in Asheville on Feb. 9, 2018. From left to right: CoCo Vandeweghe, Venus Williams, team captain Kathy Rinaldi, Lauren Davis, Serena Williams. (Photo credit: Kelly Doty)

The United States opens Fed Cup play Saturday against the Netherlands. The best-of-five match series begins at 1 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center. The U.S. team, which holds a 6-2 head-to-head record over the Netherlands in Fed Cup play, is ranked second overall and playing in the highest group, World Group I.

Play begins with former world No. 1 and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams facing world No. 124 Arantxa Rus. Williams, who is ranked No. 8 in the world, is competing in her first Fed Cup tie since February 2016.

The second singles match Saturday will feature 2017 U.S. Open and Australian Open semifinalist and world No. 17 CoCo Vandeweghe against world No. 108 Richel Hogenkamp. Vandeweghe made Fed Cup history last year by going 8-0 in singles and doubles play over the course of the year to lead the U.S. team to its championship. Vandeweghe and Hogenkamp have never met on the WTA Tour.

Fed Cup play continues at 1 p.m. Sunday when Venus Williams faces Hogenkamp. That match will be followed by Vandeweghe versus Rus.

Then in doubles, Serena Williams and Lauren Davis play Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs.

The winner of this matchup will advance to the Fed Cup semifinals April 21-22. Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis. It is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with about 100 nations participating each year. The United States leads all nations with 18 Fed Cup titles, the last coming in 2017. The U.S. holds an overall 149-36 record in Fed Cup competition with a 40-6 record in home ties.

UNITED STATES VS. NETHERLANDS

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas 2018 World Group First Round

U.S. Cellular Center

Asheville, N.C. Feb. 10-11

ORDER OF PLAY

Saturday, 1 p.m. ET

Singles A: Venus Williams (USA) vs. Arantxa Rus (NED)

Singles B: CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Richel Hogenkamp (NED)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Singles C: Venus Williams (USA) vs. Richel Hogenkamp (NED)

Singles D: CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Arantxa Rus (NED)

Doubles: Serena Williams (USA) / Lauren Davis (USA) vs. Lesley Kerkhove (NED) / Demi Schuurs (NED)

TELEVISION SCHEDULE

Tennis Channel will air live daily coverage at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Coverage will also air locally on WMYA-40.

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