(Reuters) - CoCo Vandeweghe will open the United States’ bid to win the Fed Cup for the first time in 17 years when she takes on Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first rubber on Saturday.
It will be a first meeting between Sasnovich and Vandeweghe, who are both unbeaten in Fed Cup competition this year.
The winner of their match will have a chance to become the first player to record a spotless year in Fed Cup singles rubbers since Petra Kvitova went unbeaten for Czech Republic in 2011.
Aryna Sabalenka, Belarusian number one for the first time this year, will face U.S. Open winner Sloane Stephens in the second rubber before the reverse singles on Sunday.
Stephens, the world number 13, will start as favourite despite failing to win a single match since her victory at Flushing Meadows in September.
Should the tie go to a decisive fifth rubber on Sunday, Vera Lapko and Lidziya Marozava will take on U.S. pair Shelby Rogers and Alison Riske in doubles.
Belarus’s chances of success suffered a blow when former world number one Victoria Azarenka said on Tuesday that she would miss the final due to an ongoing custody battle with her baby son’s father.
Belarus have never won a Fed Cup championship while the United States won the last of their record 17 titles in 2000.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Belarus) v CoCo Vandeweghe (U.S.)
Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) v Sloane Stephens (U.S.)
Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) v CoCo Vandeweghe (U.S.)
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Belarus) v Sloane Stephens (U.S.)
Vera Lapko/Lidziya Marozava (Belarus) v Alison Riske/Shelby Rogers (U.S.)
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis