Fed Cup finalists starting 2014 on the road

2013 Russian Fed Cup team. (AP/Misha Japaridze)

Three months after playing in the Fed Cup final, Italy and Russia will begin their 2014 campaigns away from home in February.

From the draw in Paris on Wednesday, Italy will have to travel to the United States, and Russia will go to Australia for the first time since 1998.

Italy beat the U.S. in the 2009 and 2010 finals and in the first round this year.

Also, the Czech Republic, champion in 2011 and 2012, will visit Spain, and Slovakia will welcome Germany.

Cagliari, Sardinia, will host this year’s final in November. Italy and Russia share seven of the last nine titles between them.