Italy are heavy favourites in 2009 Fed Cup final.

pennettaFlavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone will spearhead Italy’s challenge in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final against USA.

The full Italian team, captained by Corrado Barazzutti, will be Pennetta, Schiavone, Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani – according to the official nominations received by the ITF today.

In recent months, Pennetta has become the first female Italian player ever to reach the world’s top 10. This came after back-to-back tournament victories in Palermo and Los Angeles. She declined an invitation to the Bali event so she could play in the Fed Cup for her country.

Schiavone has also been playing some of the best tennis of her career having just won a $1m title in Moscow, a week after reaching a final in Osaka.

The 29-year-old is unbeaten in this year’s Fed Cup campaign and defeated Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, the reigning Roland Garros champion, in the semifinals.

Roberta Vinci’s Fed Cup doubles pedigree is second to none in Italy, holding the record for the most number of victories with a win-loss record of 13-0.

Errani, meanwhile, reached a career high world ranking of No. 31 in February. She also finished runner-up in Palermo, losing to Pennetta in the final.

USA has announced that its team will be Vania King, Melanie Oudin, Alexa Glatch and Liezel Huber. King has come in to the side to replace Serena Williams, the world No. 2.

The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final is being staged outdoors on red clay at the Circolo del Tennis ‘Rocco Polimeni’ in Reggio Calabria, on November 7-8.

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