Critical Mass.: Worcester Selected as Fed Cup Site

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108793198The DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., has been selected a

s the site for the 2012 Fed Cup World Group II opening-round tie between the U.S. and Belarus, Feb. 4-5.

Thirteen-time Slam champion Serena Williams has already committed to play, while current world No. 4 Victoria Azarenka is expected to compete for Belarus.

“The DCU Center will be a great venue for this very important match and Serena’s return to the U.S. Fed Cup team. Belarus will be a tough opponent and we will need our fans to come out in numbers and be loud to give us the home court advantage,” said U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez. “One of the last Fed Cup matches I played was in Boston, so I know firsthand that this area has and will embrace the competition.”

It will mark the first-ever matchup between the U.S. and Belarus in Fed Cup competition. The winner will advance to the World Group Playoff and play for a chance to compete for the Fed Cup title in 2013. The loser will compete in the World Group II Playoff and will either maintain its status for the following year or be relegated to zonal competition. This will be the first home tie for the U.S. since the 2010 Fed Cup Final in San Diego, where the team lost to Italy. In 2011, the U.S. played away ties in Belgium and Germany. The U.S. is 35-4 all-time in Fed Cup ties played at home.

This will be the third Fed Cup tie played in Massachusetts and first since the U.S. defeated the Czech Republic, 5-0, in the 2003 World Group first round in Lowell. The U.S. Fed Cuppers are undefeated in Massachusetts, with the other win coming in the 1997 quarterfinal against Japan in Boston. The Tennis Channel will present live daily coverage.

Fans can call the U.S. Fed Cup hotline at (888) 334-8782 or visit www.usta.com/fedcup for the latest ticket info.