US Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez is hoping that Venus Williams will consent to play against Russia in Birmingham, Alabama, April 24-25, but the seven time Grand Slam champion isn't sure whether she'll make the trip after a tiring campaign in Miami. There, Williams wore wraps on both of her legs in the final and was crushed by Kim Clijsters.
But unlike her sister, Serena, who has played Fed Cup only a handful of times, Venus has a 17-4 record and was the United States go-to player for much of this decade. However, Williams hasn't played since the 2007 semifinals, when Russia shocked the U.S. 3-2 in Stowe, Vermont, behind a doubles victory by Nadia Petrova/Elena Vesnina over Williams/Lisa Raymond.
The U.S. holds a 4-3 edge over Russia, but has lost their last three ties. It is unknown who will play for the deep Russian team, but as of two weeks ago, the only player of significance to commit to playing was teenager Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elena Dementieva and Vera Zvonareva all told Daily Tennis News that they weren't planning on playing.
Fernandez will likely name three other players who helped the squad to its quarterfinal victory over France: Melanie Oudin, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Liezel Huber.
"I will take a rest and get ready for the clay court season," said Venus at Miami. "I don't think [Mary Joe] wants to talk to me about Fed Cup right now. Wouldn't be the best answer right now. I think she has been smart enough not ask me about Fed Cup. She'll wait a few days until I'm feeling a little better and a little less in the moment. . . I always want to play Fed Cup [but] I my goal was to see how I felt physically after this tournament. I think it would be nice to have the matches, too. So obviously I will have to make a decision pretty quickly."
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