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Gauff in frame for Fed Cup debut, joining Serena and Kenin in mighty USA team

By John Skilbeck
Coco Gauff

New York, January 29: Coco Gauff and Serena Williams will team up next week when generations join forces as the United States begin their Fed Cup campaign.

Fifteen-year-old Gauff and Williams, 38, were named in a formidable-looking five-player squad for the qualifying tie against Latvia, which will be played in the city of Everett, near Seattle.

Gauff is in line to become the second-youngest player to represent the US in the Fed Cup, if she sees action in the two-day tie.

Only Jennifer Capriati has played at a younger age, with the future grand slam winner and world number one being just 14 years and four months old in 1990 when she played against Poland.

Joining Gauff and Williams will be Sofia Kenin, who has reached the semi-finals of the ongoing Australian Open, plus world number 19 Alison Riske and doubles specialist Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

World number nine Williams saw her hopes of landing a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title in Melbourne dashed by a shock third-round defeat to China's Wang Qiang.

It was a result that prompted Williams to indicate she would work harder than ever to push for the record.

The veteran has never lost a Fed Cup singles match, being the holder of a 13-0 record, putting her two wins short of matching Martina Navratilova's career 15-0 mark.

Gauff went one round further than Williams in Australia before losing to compatriot Kenin, with the teenager having claimed the scalps of Venus Williams and defending champion Naomi Osaka on her run.

The US Fed Cup team is captained by former top-10 player Kathy Rinaldi, with the Latvia tie to be played on February 7-8.

Latvia have world number 33 Anastasija Sevastova and former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in their ranks.

A new Fed Cup format sees the winners of the eight February ties go on to compete at the 12-team Finals, which takes place in Budapest from April 14-19, with Australia, France, Hungary and Czech Republic already assured of their places.

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Story first published: Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 0:40 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 29, 2020
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