US hopes Oudin set early tone at FedCup

BIRMINGHAM: Melanie Oudin and Alla Kudryavtseva will lead off the Fed Cup semi-final between USA and Russia.

The Americans'' number one player Oudin faces Russia''s No. 2 Kudryavtseva, in the first match of the best-of-five tie on Saturday.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands will play doubles and singles and opens against world number six Elena Dementieva.

Mattek-Sands also is scheduled to team with Liezel Huber, the world''s No. 1 doubles player, on Sunday.

Dementieva doesn''t normally play doubles but was inserted into the lineup.

Both teams are without some of their countries'' top players. US stars Serena and Venus Williams decided to skip the event with injuries.