Charlotte to Host April USA vs. Austria Fed Cup Event

March 7, 2002 10:34 AM

The USTA has announced that Charlotte, N.C. will host the 2002 United States vs. Austria Fed Cup first round April 27-28 at the Olde Providence Racquet Club. The U.S. Fed Cup team, led by Captain Billie Jean King, will face the Austrians in a best-of-five match series in the world’s premier international women’s team tennis competition.

L to R: Laura Foxx, Organizing Comm.; Mike Boston, GM, Olde Providence RC; Joe White, Pres, Olde Providence RC; Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory.

With five Americans among the top ten ranked women in the world (Venus Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, and Serena Williams), the talent pool of U.S. women players has never been deeper. King and Austrian Captain Alfred Tesar will announce their squads in April.

The Olde Providence Racquet Club, which has played host to the Davis Cup and the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships, will seat 3,000 fans for an intimate, fan friendly setting. The tie will be played on clay, with two singles matches on Saturday, April 27 and two singles and a doubles match on Sunday, April 28. Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 9 at 10 AM EST.

"The Carolinas are a hotbed of tennis and we are delighted to bring this special brand of team tennis back to Charlotte," said Arlen Kantarian, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, USTA. "The U.S. and Captain Billie Jean King will field a world-class, marquee team in our campaign to win the Fed Cup."

"Our American women are team players and prouder than ever to represent the United States," said King. "I am confident we will field one of the most competitive teams and we look forward to beginning our quest for the Fed Cup in the Carolinas."

"With our great history of tennis, Charlotte is proud to host the prestigious Fed Cup," said Charlotte Mayor Patrick McCrory. "We look forward to having the Americans and the Austrians here for a first-class international event in our great city."

Following the September 11 attacks on America, the U.S. withdrew from the 2001 Fed Cup World Finals, precluding it from defending its two consecutive titles in 1999 and 2000. The United States has won a record 17 Fed Cup championships -- more than any other nation -- since the inception of the competition in 1963.

The United States is undefeated against Austria in Fed Cup competition, holding a 7-0 record. The last meeting between the two nations occurred in 1996 in Salzburg, with the U.S. defeating Austria, 3-2, in the first round, en route to winning the championship that year. The United States defeated Austria, 5-0, in a 1995 first round tie in Aventura, Fla. before defeating France, 3-2, in the semifinals in Wilmington, N.C. Fed Cup was last played in North Carolina in 1999 when the U.S. hosted Croatia in Raleigh. The U.S. won, 5-0.

Sixteen nations are seeking the 2002 Fed Cup title. The winner of the U.S.-Austria tie will meet the winner of Czech Republic-Croatia pairing, July 20-21, in second round competition. The second round victor will advance to the Fed Cup World Finals in November.

Austria never has won the Fed Cup, but last year qualified for the 2002 Fed Cup World Group, defeating Australia and Indonesia. Its best Fed Cup finish came in 1990 when it reached the Fed Cup World Group semifinals.

The United States Tennis Association owns and stages the US Open and selects the teams that compete in Fed Cup, Davis Cup and the Olympic Games. The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in America and is a non-profit organization with more than 630,000 members. It invests all its resources to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grass roots to the professional levels. Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 9 at 10 AM EST via phone at 888-334-USTA.