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Italy to host United States in World Group playoffs for the Fed Cup

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LONDON — The U.S. will have to beat Italy in Italy for the first time in 16 years to return to the top tier of the Fed Cup.

Italy and the Americans were drawn on Tuesday in the World Group playoffs from April 18-19.

In other pairings, the Netherlands will host Australia, Poland will play at home against Switzerland, and Canada will welcome Romania.

PHOTO: Venus Williams of the United States reacts to a lost point in a Fed Cup World Group II first round women's singles tennis match against Maria Irigoyen of Argentina, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015.  Williams defeated Irigoyen 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday to advance the United States to the Fed Cup playoffs in April. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Venus Williams of the United States reacts to a lost point in a Fed Cup World Group II first round women's singles tennis match against Maria Irigoyen of Argentina, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. Williams defeated Irigoyen 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday to advance the United States to the Fed Cup playoffs in April. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Led by Serena and Venus Williams, the U.S. beat Argentina 4-1 in Buenos Aires last weekend to advance to the playoff round.

Italy, meanwhile, squandered a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 to France in Genoa in the first round of the World Group.

Italy has dominated recent ties with the U.S., winning the 2009 and 2010 finals, and first-round ties in 2013 and last year.

The Americans' record 17th and last Fed Cup title was in 2000.

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