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Americans set to continue domination of French at Fed Cup

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Moscow, Russia (Sports Network) - American will take on France's to open the 2003 Fed Cup final between United States and France at Moscow's Olympic Stadium on Saturday. The Americans, led this year by captain Billie Jean King, are 10-0 in Fed Cup play against France. It's been eight years since the Americans last faced France in Fed Cup play. That was a 3-2 victory for the Americans in the 1995 World Group semifinal.

The Americans own a record 17 Fed Cup titles, with the last one coming in 2000. In its last 25 Fed Cup finals, the United States is 17-8, while France is 1-0 in the finals, with the victory coming in 1997.

Raymond, No. 28 in the world rankings, has never beaten the No. 4 Mauresmo in four meetings at the tour level.

The second singles rubber will pit American against in the first ever meeting between the two women. Raymond will play Pierce and Shaughnessy goes at it against Mauresmo in the reverse singles rubbers.

Raymond and Martina Navratilova play Pierce and in the doubles rubber.

The French are led by captain Guy Forget. "On paper we're favorites, but then again so were (we) against the Russians, but we proved them wrong," said Forget. "I think every match is going to be difficult, but if they (we) can play as well as they (we) did in the previous matches, I think they (we) should have a chance. But it will be hard."

Play begins on Saturday with the two opening singles rubbers. The reverse singles rubbers and doubles rubber will take place on Sunday.

King agreed with Forget. "I think they are overwhelmingly favorites," she said. "But it could be very interesting because of the styles of play. We are going to have to raise our games at least a level or two for us to win," King added.

The United States beat Belgium, 4-1, in the semifinals while the French advanced with a 3-2 victory over Russia.

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