Press release from United States Tennis Association:
The USTA will hold a number of community events for tennis players and fans of all ages and abilities in Asheville surrounding the Fed Cup World Group First Round, creating a week-long celebration of tennis in the city.
Fed Cup will be played at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, Feb. 10-11, on an indoor hard court. This is the first time that Asheville is hosting Fed Cup. Play begins on both Saturday, Feb. 10, and Sunday, Feb. 11, at 12:30 p.m. On Saturday, two singles matches will be played, and on Sunday, play will continue with two reverse singles matches and the doubles match. The Sunday schedule may be revised if a team clinches in the third or fourth match. Tennis Channel will present live daily coverage.
Community events taking place during Fed Cup Week include:
Wednesday, Feb. 7 – Net Generation Kids’ Day and U.S. Captain Kathy Rinaldi Appearance
8:30-11 a.m., U.S. Cellular Center Exhibition Hall
The USTA and USTA North Carolina will be hosting some 300 kids from Buncombe County elementary schools for special Net Generation clinics. Net Generation is the USTA’s new unified youth initiative to inspire the next generation of tennis players. Team USA Captain Kathy Rinaldi will join the clinic at 10:30 a.m. and Ingles will provide all participants with healthy snacks. The participating students won an essay contest to take part in the clinic.
Friday, Feb. 9 – Fed Cup Official Draw Ceremony, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Noon, U.S. Cellular Center Stadium Court
Members of the U.S. and Netherlands Fed Cup teams, as well as special guests, will take part in the 2018 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Official Draw Ceremony to determine the player matchups for the weekend’s competition. This event, held on stadium court at the U.S. Cellular Center, will be open to the public and include the opportunity for fans to take photos with the Fed Cup trophy, an appearance by Fed Cup mascot Ace, and the opportunity for the community to watch the draw take place and see their favorite players. Doors will open at 11:45 a.m.
Friday, Feb. 9-Sunday, Feb. 11 – USTA Player Development Camp & Kids’ Clinic Appearances
Omni Grove Park Tennis Courts
USTA Player Development will be hosting a camp throughout the weekend with rising young American players, who will train with each other and cheer on Team USA at the matches. They will also take part in clinics with local kids. Players include Cori “Coco” Gauff, 13, the 2017 junior US Open singles finalist; Whitney Osuigwe, 15, the No. 1-ranked junior in the world and 2017 junior French Open girls’ singles champion; and Top 100 player Jennifer Brady, 22, who reached the fourth round of both the 2017 US Open and Australian Open and was a Fed Cup practice partner for the 2017 final in Belarus.
Saturday, Feb. 10, and Sunday, Feb. 11 – NJTL Net Generation Clinics
9 a.m.-noon, U.S. Cellular Center Exhibition Hall
On Saturday and Sunday, the USTA and USTA North Carolina will be hosting some 75 kids from local National Junior Tennis and Learning network (NJTL) organizations. NJTL is made up of more than 350 tennis and education chapters nationwide that are supported by the USTA Foundation through grants, scholarships, and technical assistance. These chapters reach more than 225,000 under-resourced youth on an annual basis. Following the clinics, participants will then attend the matches. Ingles will provide all participants with lunch.
Saturday, Feb. 10, and Sunday, Feb. 11 – Green Ball, Middle School, and High School Net Generation Clinics
9 a.m.-11 a.m.
At locations off-site, USTA North Carolina will be hosting 50 middle school and high school players for Net Generation tennis clinics. It will also be hosting a Green Ball camp for youth players age 10 and under, which is the highest level of play within the age group. Players were selected from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee and will be led by four female coaches from their respective states. The players will participate in both a training camp and finish with a fun team competition at the conclusion of the weekend. Following the clinics, participants will then travel to the U.S. Cellular Center to attend the matches.
In addition, local kids involved in the clinics will have a special role in the matches as part of the Net Generation initiative. Prior to the matches, kids will play on stadium court as part of a Net Generation demonstration. Local kids will also escort the players during the Opening Ceremony on Saturday and participate in the coin toss for each match with the chair umpire and competing players.
Other community events taking place around Asheville during Fed Cup Week include adult clinics and a Pride Day Brunch. In addition, prior to Sunday’s play, a wheelchair tennis exhibition will be held on-court at the U.S. Cellular Center featuring North Carolina native Conner Stroud.
Besides the community involvement, the Asheville economy will also benefit from this sold-out event, as Fed Cup is currently expected to generate more than $3.5 million in economic impact for the city. Seven local businesses will be serving as sponsors for this tie, including Ingles, Skyland Automotive, Omni Grove Park, Charter Spectrum, New Belgium Brewing, Citizen and ExploreAsheville.com.
Captain Rinaldi also announced that world No. 64 Lauren Davis will be the fourth player named to the U.S. Fed Cup Team to compete in Asheville. Earlier this month, Davis pushed top seed Simona Halep to a 15-13 thrilling third set in the Australian Open third round in a match lasting 3 hours and 45 minutes and 48 games. Davis has played in three Fed Cup ties, the last coming in the 2017 semifinal in Tampa Bay. Davis joins Grand Slam champions Serena Williams and Venus Williams, as well as 2017 US Open semifinalist and world No. 18 CoCo Vandeweghe, on the U.S. team.
Netherlands Fed Cup Captain Paul Haarhuis announced that world No. 107 Richel Hogenkamp, No. 123 Arantxa Rus, No. 166 Lesley Kerkhove, and Demi Schuurs, who is ranked No. 33 in doubles, will compete for the Dutch. The U.S. holds a 6-2 record over the Netherlands in Fed Cup play.
The U.S. Fed Cup Team comes to Asheville after winning its record 18th Fed Cup title in November against Belarus, 3-2, in Minsk. That was the U.S.’s first Fed Cup title since 2000. Fed Cup is the world’s largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with approximately 100 nations taking part each year. The U.S. holds an overall 149-36 record in Fed Cup competition with a 40-6 record in home ties. For more information, including access to player and historical Fed Cup records, please go to www.usta.com/fedcup or www.fedcup.com.
Keep up with Team USA using hashtag #TeamUSATennis on Facebook (@USTA), on Twitter (@USTA), and on Instagram (@USTA). Wilson is the official ball of the U.S. Fed Cup team. Deloitte is the official team sponsor of the U.S. Fed Cup Team.