The all-new Fed Cup by BNP Paribas gets under way this week, with stars including Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Belinda Bencic scattering across the globe to don the colors of their country.
At stake in eight Qualifier ties is a place in April's Fed Cup Finals in Budapest, with the winners of each joining defending champions France, 2019 runners-up Australia, wildcards Czech Republic and hosts Hungary in the inaugural 12-nation round-robin format, announced last June by the ITF. Below is your guide to who is playing where this weekend.
 USA vs Latvia (Everett, indoor hard)
Back in 2018, Fed Cup rookie Sofia Kenin was thrown in at the deep end on her debut in the competition: two live singles rubbers in the final, away against the Czech Republic. Kenin lost both, against Barbora Strycova and Katerina Siniakova, but acquitted herself admirably in two thrilling three-setters that showcased what would become a familiar grit. This week will serve as freshly-minted Australian Open champion Kenin's homecoming - and she'll be joined by 23-time major winner Serena Williams, returning to the Fed Cup team for the first time since February 2018, as well as in-form Wuhan finalist Alison Riske, former doubles World No.1 Bethanie Mattek-Sands and, making her Fed Cup debut, 15-year-old prodigy Coco Gauff. Notwithstanding this formidable line-up and the 18-time champions' home advantage, opponents Latvia could still spring a surprise: 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko and 2018 US Open semifinalist Anastasija Sevastova present very different stylistic challenges and mercurial form that make them a potential danger to anyone.
USA: Sofia Kenin, Serena Williams, Alison Riske, Coco Gauff, Bethanie Mattek-Sands (captain: Kathy Rinaldi)
LAT: Jelena Ostapenko, Anastasija Sevastova, Diana Marcinkevica, Daniela Vismane (captain: Adrians Zguns)
Netherlands vs  Belarus (The Hague, indoor clay)
Belarus's giant-killing run to the 2017 final, spearheaded by the then relatively unknown Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich, remains one of the Fed Cup's all-time great underdog stories. They're underdogs no longer, though: both players used that run as a springboard to launch their careers to greater heights, with Sabalenka cracking the Top 10 and firmly establishing herself at the top of the game. The No.2 seeds face a tricky and intriguing tie against the Netherlands, though, who will be seeking to blunt the Belarusians' power with clay - the preferred turf of their own No.1 player, Madrid champion and 2016 Roland Garros semifinalist Kiki Bertens. A heavyweight singles showdown between Bertens and Sabalenka could well be one of the weekend's best matches.
NED: Kiki Bertens, Arantxa Rus, Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove, Indy De Vroome, Demi Schuurs (captain: Paul Haarhuis)
BLR: Aryna Sabalenka, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Olga Govortsova, Anna Kubareva, Lidziya Marozava (captain: Tatiana Poutchek)
 Romania vs Russia (Cluj-Napoca, indoor hard)
2019 finalists Romania find themselves somewhat under full strength this year, with Wimbledon champion Simona Halep sitting out the tie and doubles World No.47 Raluca Olaru being the only member of the team with previous experience in live Fed Cup rubbers. Instead, they'll be led by World No.90 Ana Bogdan, who will be backed up by three rookies making their debuts in the competition - Nottingham quarterfinalist Elena-Gabriela Ruse, Jurmala quarterfinalist Irina Bara and 2012 Les Petits As champion Jaqueline Cristian. Meanwhile, four-time champions Russia are fielding an in-form and fast-rising team: World No.28 Ekaterina Alexandrova lifted her maiden WTA trophy in Shenzhen last month, and has historically thrived indoors, where she has won 29 of her last 34 matches, while World No.38 Veronika Kudermetova posted her fourth WTA semifinal run in the past year in Hobart and World No.54 Anna Blinkova scored her maiden Top 10 win over Belinda Bencic in Shenzhen.
ROU: Ana Bogdan, Irina Bara, Elena-Gabriela Ruse, Jaqueline Cristian, Raluca Olaru (captain: Florin Segarceanu)
RUS: Ekaterina Alexandrova, Veronika Kudermetova, Anna Blinkova, Anna Kalinskaya (captain: Igor Andreev)
Brazil vs  Germany (Florianopolis, outdoor clay)
On paper, even a German squad lacking star players Angelique Kerber and Julia Goerges heavily outrank their Brazilian hosts, with all four team members placed higher than World No.225 Gabriela Ce, Brazil's No.1 player. Moreover, clay has tended to be the perfect canvas for German No.1 Laura Siegemund's wily variety, and former World No.45 Anna-Lena Friedsam has been making a steady comeback from the shoulder injuries that have beset her over the past two years. However, Brazilian No.2 Teliana Pereira could make life more complicated for the 2014 runners-up: the former World No.43 won the first of her two WTA titles in Florianopolis during her career-best season of 2015.
BRA: Gabriela Ce, Teliana Pereira, Laura Pigossi, Carolina Alves, Luisa Stefani (captain: Roberta Burzagli)
GER: Laura Siegemund, Tatjana Maria, Anna-Lena Friedsam, Antonia Lottner (captain: Rainer Schuettler)
フェドカップパーティー????— Misaki Doi 土居美咲 (@MisakiDoiTennis) February 5, 2020
TEAM JAPANで良い雰囲気?? pic.twitter.com/paiKXwU935
 Spain vs Japan (Cartagena, outdoor clay)
Five-time champions Spain will be hoping to ensnare a Japanese team with more of an affinity for fast courts in slow red clay this weekend - and certainly, two-time Roland Garros quarterfinalist Carla Suárez Navarro (playing the final year of her career), three-time Bogota finalist Lara Arruabarrena and 22-year-old Aliona Bolsova, who made the fourth round of Roland Garros on her Grand Slam debut last year, have the pedigree for it. Japan, however, boast the most accomplished player in either team in former World No.1 Naomi Osaka, whose 9-2 clay record last year indicates that while clay may not be her favorite surface, she is certainly able to translate her power game to it. Backing her up will be two Fed Cup stalwarts who have also posted career highlights on the?terre battue: Kurumi Nara won her only title to date on clay at Rio de Janeiro 2014, while Misaki Doi's 2019 resurgence was spearheaded by a title run at the Bastad 125K in July.
ESP: Carla Suárez Navarro, Sara Sorribes Tormo, Aliona Bolsova, Lara Arruabarrena, Georgina Garcia Perez (captain: Anabel Medina Garrigues)
JPN: Naomi Osaka, Misaki Doi, Kurumi Nara, Ena Shibahara, Shuko Aoyama (captain: Toshihisa Tsuchihashi)
 Switzerland vs Canada (Biel/Bienne, indoor hard)
All eyes were on the return of US Open champion Bianca Andreescu to action for the first time since a knee injury forced the Canadian out of the WTA Finals in October. However, Andreescu has not been named in the starting singles line-up - meaning that there is no slated rematch of her US Open semifinal against World No.5 Belinda Bencic this weekend. Instead,?Canada will be led by 17-year-old Roland Garros girls' champion Leylah Fernandez, who qualified for her first senior Grand Slam at the Australian Open, and backed up by former World No.5 Eugenie Bouchard, who made a promising start to 2020 by reaching the Auckland quarterfinals but then fell in Australian Open qualifying and the first round of the Newport Beach 125K. Wimbledon doubles finalist and two-time Grand Slam mixed doubles champion Gabriela Dabrowski would be a formidable asset should the tie go down to a deciding doubles rubber - but Bencic, along with Prague and Palermo champion Jil Teichmann, is a significant obstacle to getting there.
SUI: Belinda Bencic, Jil Teichmann, Viktorija Golubic, Stefanie Voegele, Timea Bacsinszky (captain: Heinz Guenthardt)
CAN: Bianca Andreescu, Leylah Fernandez, Eugenie Bouchard, Gabriela Dabrowski (captain: Heidi El Tabakh)
 Belgium vs Kazakhstan (Kortrijk, indoor hard)
A quietly tantalizing tie that might not involve any Top 10 players but could see a lot of nailbiting tennis finds 2001 champions Belgium taking on a surging Kazakhstan, fresh off the country's best ever Grand Slam showing with three players reaching the Australian Open third round. World No.19 Elise Mertens is a solid leader for the hosts, while 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens' touch thrives on fast courts and World No.115 Ysaline Bonaventure is coming off a title indoors at last week's Andrézieux-Bouthéon ITF W60 event. Kazakhstan, meanwhile, are without their fast-rising top player Elena Rybakina - but the fiery spirit of both Yulia Putintseva and Zarina Diyas has been in welcome evidence lately as both have got 2020 off to positive starts.
BEL: Elise Mertens, Kirsten Flipkens, Greet Minnen, Ysaline Bonaventure (captain: Johan Van Herck)
KAZ: Yulia Putintseva, Zarina Diyas, Anna Danilina, Yaroslava Shvedova (captain: Dias Doskarayev)
Slovakia vs  Great Britain (Bratislava, indoor clay)
Only two Top 100 players feature in the tie between 2002 champions Slovakia and four-time finalists Great Britain, and the hosts will be hoping that their home turf of clay will prove decisive - particularly with British No.1 Johanna Konta skipping the tie. Furthermore, while 2014 Charleston runner-up Jana Cepelova and former World No.26 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova may be some distance away from their best rankings, both are former Top 50 players who have gone toe-to-toe with the very best in the game at their peak. But the best recent form among all the players involved has been shown by Heather Watson, who counts a Tianjin final and a Hobart semifinal as two of her last four tournaments.
SVK: Viktoria Kuzmova, Jana Cepelova, Magdalena Rybarikova, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Rebecca Sramkova (captain: Matej Liptak)
GBR: Heather Watson, Harriet Dart, Naiktha Bains, Katie Swan, Emma Raducanu (captain: Anne Keothavong)