Gavrilova to make Australia Fed Cup debut against U.S.

Tue Apr 5, 2016 11:20pm EDT
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Russian-born Daria Gavrilova will make her Fed Cup debut for Australia against the United States in Brisbane next week after being named in the squad for the world group playoff on Wednesday.

The rising 22-year-old talent, who reached the fourth round of the Australian Open in January, has already represented her adopted country after teaming up with Nick Kyrgios to win the Hopman Cup at the start of the year.

Despite having received her Australian passport in December, Gavrilova was only cleared to play Fed Cup by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) last month.

Former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur, Casey Dellacqua and Arina Rodionova round out the Australia team for the tie against the 17-times champions, which will be played on clay at the Pat Rafter Arena from April 16-17.

"We're thrilled for Dasha to make her Fed Cup debut for Australia on home soil next weekend and we know she'll bring great energy and a fighting spirit to the team," team captain Alicia Molik said in a Tennis Australia statement.

"Sam is our most experienced Fed Cup player and will really enjoy the opportunity to play in front of her home crowd at Pat Rafter Arena, and Casey and Arina add great depth to the squad.

"The USA has been dominant in Fed Cup competition for many decades and we know it will be a tough assignment next weekend, but we're ready for the challenge and really looking forward to the tie."

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O'Brien)

Australia's Daria Gavrilova kisses her racquet during her second round match against Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 20, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato