Teenager Gauff to join Serena on U.S. Fed Cup team

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Fourth Round - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 26, 2020 Cori Gauff of the U.S. acknowledges spectators as she walks off court after losing her match against Sofia Kenin of the U.S. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay/File Photo

(Reuters) – Serena Williams will be joined by teenage sensation Coco Gauff as part of the U.S. team that will face Latvia in a Fed Cup qualifier next month, the United States Tennis Association said on Tuesday.

The USTA announced two weeks ago that Williams would return Fed Cup action for the Feb. 7-8 tie in Everett, Washington and now rounded out the team with Gauff, Sofia Kenin, Alison Riske and Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Gauff, 15, made her splash debut on tour in 2019 and is set to rise into the top 50 of the rankings after her recent run at the Australian Open where she beat defending champion Naomi Osaka before falling to Kenin in the fourth round.

Kenin, who enjoyed a breakout year in 2019 during which she won three WTA titles, reached her first Grand Slam semi-final this week in Melbourne where she will face Australian world number one Ash Barty.

Riske reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year while Mattek-Sands is a five-time doubles and four-time mixed doubles Grand Slam champion.

Williams last played Fed Cup in February 2018, which also marked her competitive return to tennis following the birth of her daughter.

The winner of the tie versus Latvia advances to the 2020 Fed Cup Finals from April 14-19 in Budapest.

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