The 2019 Fed Cup semi-finals will be held on April 19 and 20 and some of the top WTA players will be in action across these matches and some of the other playoffs that will also be held simultaneously at different venues.
Expected to take to court are the likes of Ashleigh Barty, who will be fresh from her Miami Open victory, Simona Halep, who was a losing semi-finalist in Miami and the Qatar Open winner, world number five Angelique Kerber, former US Open winner Sloane Stephens and rising star Aryna Sabalenka.
With Great Britain participating in the World Group II playoffs, Johanna Konta will be expected to lead their challenge as well.
Fourth seeded Romania, led by Halep, will travel to Rouen in France to play the hosts in one semi-final while third seeded Belarus faces the Aussie challenge in Brisbane.
It will be the first meeting for Australia and Belarus with the Barty-led side having won this tournament on seven previous occasions. However, this is only the first time they made it to the World Group stage of the Fed Cup in four years and if they win this match, they would make it to the final for the first time since 1993.
It is the third successive year that Belarus are featuring in the World Group and for a team that has never won the title before, this could offer their best chance. They were the losing finalists in the 2017 Fed Cup.
Australia v Belarus Team Nominations:
Australia: Ash Barty, Daria Gavrilova, Samantha Stosur, Priscilla Hon
Belarus: Aryna Sabalenka, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Victoria Azarenka, Vera Lapko, Lidziya Marozava
In the other semi-final, France takes on Romania at home in what will be their second meeting. The first time they faced off came all the way back in 1976 where Romania blanked France 3-0.
If France win, they would go on to feature in their sixth Fed Cup final while this is only the second time that Romania have made it as far as the semi-finals. They have never entered the final before.
Halep and Caroline Garcia will be the top players leading the respective sides in this encounter.
France v Romania Team Nominations:
France: Caroline Garcia, Pauline Parmentier, Alize Cornet, Kristina Mladenovic
Romania: Simona Halep, Mihaela Buzarnescu, Irina-Camelia Begu, Monica Niculescu, Raluca Olaru
Meanwhile Great Britain will go into their Fed Cup World Group II play-off match against Kazakhstan, with the same squad that won their last match-up. British number one Konta will have Katie Boulter, Heather Watson, Harriet Dart and Katie Swan for company as they look to overcome Kazakhstan in London, to try and make it back to the World Group II for the first time in 26 years.
Great Britain captain Anne Keothavong said of their tie:
“There is little to separate the two teams in terms of rankings, but I’m confident the home fans will give all our players an inspirational lift.”
“It’s important to our team to open up our sport to new fans and increase awareness of tennis at different times of the year.”
In some of the other matches that will be played, Belgium will be up against Spain that has Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro.
In some of the other World Group II play-offs encounters, Russia face Italy, Japan will be up against Netherlands and Slovakia play hosting Brazil.