Friday, November 5, 2010

Schiavone upbeat ahead of final

Francesca Schiavone
Schiavone beat Oudin in her only singles win in last year's final

Francesca Schiavone has warned the USA they will face an even stronger Italy team than the one that triumphed last year in this weekend's Fed Cup final.

"It's one more year and we have more experience," said Schiavone.

"Our team is always complete with energy and confidence. That is our key and so we keep working on this."

Italy, who beat the USA 4-0 in the 2009 final, go into this year's final in San Diego with all of their players ranked higher than the top American.

The USA team is missing Serena and Venus Williams, who are both injured.

Schiavone, the reigning French Open champion, is number six in the world rankings, while Italy team-mate Flavia Pennetta is ranked 23rd.


In contrast, Bethanie Mattek-Sands is the top-ranked American, at number 58, while Liezel Huber is a doubles specialist.

They are joined in the USA team by Melanie Oudin , ranked 67, and debutant Coco Vandeweghe (114).

Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani, ranked 38 and 42 respectively, complete the Italian line-up, which is the same as the one that defeated the USA last year in Calabria.

Despite the disparity in world rankings, USA captain Mary Jo Fernandez said the final was "winnable" for her team.

"You don't just sign up and say they are ranked much higher so they are going to win," said Fernandez, a member of the USA team which defeated Spain in the 1996 Fed Cup final. "We have seen upsets in the past."

Francesca Schiavone

Impressive Schiavone claims title

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