Top-ranked Serena opens against Giorgi in Italy-US Fed Cup playoff

Serena Williams will play in the opening Fed Cup match for the US.

Alan Diaz/AP

BRINDISI, Italy — Top-ranked Serena Williams will open against No. 36 Camila Giorgi on Saturday when the United States meets Italy in the Fed Cup playoffs.

Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti made a surprise move by inserting Giorgi as his second singles player in place of the more experienced Flavia Pennetta, who is ranked 10 spots above Giorgi and was counting on strong crowd support since she is from Brindisi.

In the second singles, 57th-ranked Lauren Davis will meet No. 15 Sara Errani.

After Sunday’s reverse singles, the best-of-five series on red clay could be decided by a doubles match.

The doubles teams named were Christina McHale and Alison Riske against Karin Knapp and Pennetta. United States captain Mary Joe Fernandez, however, has said that Williams will play doubles if the series is tied.