BUDAPEST, Hungary - The USA has been drawn to play Spain and Slovakia in the inaugural Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals, which will take place in Budapest, Hungary from April 14-19.

Having qualified for the new-look tournament by overcoming Latvia in a deciding rubber, the American team was preassigned to Group C having been seeded No.3 for the tournament.

Meanwhile, reigning champions France, who defeated Australia in a memorable 2019 final, has been drawn against Russia and hosts Hungary, the lowest ranked team in the finals, in Group A.

Group B will showcase Australia, a team seeking to end a 45-year run without winning the title. Their challenge will see them tackle 2019 semifinalists Belarus and Belgium.

The Czech Republic headlines Group D, having won six Fed Cup titles in the last nine years. Awarded a wildcard entry into the finals on the basis of such performances, the Czechs will tackle Germany and Switzerland in an all-European pool.

Only the winners of each pool will progress to the knockout stages, with the semifinal line-up set so the winners of Groups A and C face off, while the winners of Groups B and D tackle each other.

Billie Jean King, a Fed Cup Global Ambassador, was present for the draw at Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts.

“When you play the first point, there’s nothing like when you hear ’15-0, Great Britain’, or USA, or Hungary, for your team,” she said. “For me, I’ve always loved team sports, and I loved representing my country. It suited my personality perfectly – I just loved to be a part of it.”

David Haggerty, president of the ITF, said: “2020 is an exciting year for Fed Cup. Budapest is a great city which has previously hosted events for us, including the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and many of those young players will be playing here in April.

“Fed Cup gives us the possibility to really invest in the sport and give the nations the ability to generate the next generation of players.”

The Original 9: Judy Dalton