Let me be clear on one thing, I don’t really understand FedCup. With that disclaimer let me also say I know more about it now than I did before I decided to write this blog.
I have always paid some attention to FedCup. But honestly it has never been foremost on my mind when I think of tennis. I admit to taking it for granted, like thinking Chrissy would always beat Martina until I thought Martina couldn’t be beaten until Steffi Graf or Venus or Serena. I didn’t have to pay attention to the difference between World Group and World Group II because the USA was ALWAYS World Group until recently when we weren’t. Not unlike thinking the NY Yankees would always play for the American League pennant!
This year the USA first competed in February to earn the right to compete to get back into the World Group and compete for the title. It won’t be until February 2017 that we will compete again-this time in the World Group first round for a chance to compete for the title.
The dates are already set for 2017 and the USA has earned a spot to compete in the World Group February 11-12. IF they are fortunate enough to advance then they compete again April 22-23 in World Group semifinals. If however they lose then they go back into the World Group II pool and compete in 2018 to earn a shot at the 2019 title. Here's a picture of the bracket, it helped me visualize it.
Funny thing about FedCup is how much can change between the time that a team earns the right to compete in the World Group and the time they actually compete. Madison Keys, Chirstina McHale, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Slone Stephens, Coco Vandeweghe, and Venus Williams are all members of the 2016 USA FedCup team. I wonder who will be a part of the 2017 USA team that competes. I wonder how they are picked--that sounds like another blog!