CASTELLANETA MARINA, Italy, July 13 (UPI) -- Amelie Mauresmo, ranked No. 6 in the world, was tabbed to lead the French team against defending champion Italy in the semifinals of the Federation Cup.
The best-of-five Fed Cup series sending France against Italy is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday on a clay court in Castellaneta Marina, Italy. The winner takes on the winner of the Russia-U.S. semifinal, also set for this weekend, for the 2007 Fed Cup title Sept. 15-16.
Saturday's singles matches find Mauresmo paired against 31st-ranked Francesca Schiavone while the other singles match has France's Tatiana Golovin, ranked 19th in the world, playing Italy's Tathiana Garbin, the No. 26th-ranked player.
Sunday's matches open with France's doubles team of Severine Bremond and Nathalie Dechy scheduled to meet Italy's Mata Santangelo and Roberta Vinci followed by singles matches with Mauresmo playing Garbin and Golovin battling Schiavone.
The Italians won their first Fed Cup last year, beating Belgium 3-2 in the finals, while France is seeking a third championship, having won in 1997 and 2003. The French are 6-1 against Italy in Fed Cup play.