HOBART, Australia, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Two-time defending champion Italy will send Francesca Schiavone to open its Fed Cup quarterfinal series in Australia.
Italy defeated the United States each of the last two years in the Fed Cup finals but will be looking to beat Australia for the first time in the international completion. Australia is 5-0 versus the Italians, although they haven't played each other since 1998.
Jarmila Groth was tabbed by the Australians to meet Schiavone in the opener Saturday of the best-of-five series. Samantha Stosur, who lost to Schiavone in the finals of last year's French Open, will be second up for the Australians and will play Flavia Pennetta.
The Paris final rematch will be the third match of the series with Schiavone, ranked fourth in the world, going against the fifth-ranked Stosur Sunday. Pennetta and Groth will have the second reverse singles match.
The Italians have the doubles team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci set to play Australia's Anastasia Rodionova and Rennae Stubbs in the final match of the series.
Australia has determined that the series will be contested on a hard court at the Domain Tennis Center in Hobart.