The United States will play host to Sweden in a Fed Cup playoff in Florida this weekend, as world No. 1 superstar Serena Williams is scheduled to compete in a pair of singles rubbers in the best-of- five tie.
Saturday's opening singles will pit Sloane Stephens against Swedish veteran Sofia Arvidsson, while the second rubber has Serena taking on Johanna Larsson on an outdoor hardcourt at Delray Beach Tennis Center. Stephens will make her Fed Cup singles debut on Day 1.
On Sunday, the reverse singles will pit Williams against the 54th-ranked Arvidsson and the world No. 16 Stephens versus the 66th-ranked Larsson, while the potentially deciding doubles bout will feature an American tandem of Venus Williams and Varvara Lepchenko battling a Swedish duo of Arvidsson and Larsson.
The reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion and world No. 1 Serena and the former top-ranked Venus are playing Fed Cup together for the first time in 14 months. Serena is a perfect 8-0 in her lifetime Fed Cup singles affairs, while Venus is 4-2 in her doubles bouts.
Team USA is captained by Mary Joe Fernandez and boasts four women who are all ranked inside the top 30.
The Americans and Swedes have met four other times in Fed Cup, previously all in the World Group, with the U.S. going 3-1. Sweden won their last encounter, however, in Melbourne, Australia back in 1988.
The U.S. is attempting to avoid relegation to World Group II after losing its' 2013 opening tie 3-2 to Italy in February. A victory over Sweden would land the Americans back in the World Group for 2014.