Eight stakes in the new Fed Cup finals

LONDON: Sixteen nations will fight this week to secure the last eight places for the renewed Fed Cup end in April with some heavyweights desperate to avoid missing the party.

After the launch full of incidents of the new brand Davis cup Finals in Madrid in November, a week of marathon for men with 18 nations and culminating in glory for Spain, the ITF The emblematic event of the women's team is taking a similar path.

Gone is the old format by which two teams would emerge from the World Group to play a final at the end of the season.

Instead there will be a 12-week event in Budapest in April. With such a rapid change, bets have risen considerably for the eight qualifying draws.

The holders of France and the runner-up of Australia are exempt from qualification, while the Czech Republic has received a wild card, as are the hosts of Hungary. The offer to join them will be from the United States, Spain, Russia and Romania.

The U.S., out on their won with a record 18 Fed Cup titles, host Latvia with newly-crowned Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin accompanied by Serena Williams and the teenager Coco Gauff.

Kenin, 21, has shot up in the standings and will lead the team, after beating the 23-time Grand Slam champion of singles Williams, who will be number two in the USA. UU. In the tie.

"It's a special feeling to be ahead of her; I'm just super excited -- I can't wait to compete, be on the same team with her in Fed Cup ," Kenin said in the build-up to the tie.

The five-time winners Spain faces Japan on clay court outdoors in La Manga won the previous three games, but this time their task will be more difficult with the world number 10 Naomi Osaka back in the team colors after skipping the competition last year

Romania, last year's semifinalist, receives the four-time Russian champions in Cluj, but will not be able to resort to the inspiring fighting spirit of Simona Halep, who loses the draw.

Canada's hopes of reaching Budapest's masterpiece have been affected with world number six Bianca Andreescu He ruled out the singles for the clash with Switzerland in Biel.

That means another opportunity for Leylah Annie Fernandez, 17, who takes second place in singles behind Eugenie Bouchard .

Fernandez, who made his debut last year against the Czechs, faces Swiss number two Jil Teichmann in the first game before Bouchard's tough test against world number five, Belinda Bencic.

Britain will be without Johanna Konta for his trip to Slovakia, while in other ties Holland receives Belarus, Brazil is at home with Germany and Belgium welcomes you to Kazakhstan.

Ties are played in five tires: four singles and a decisive double potential.