Both Serena Williams (foot) and Venus Williams (knee) are currently sidelined with injury, but both expect to be fit for the US Open, and both have now committed to represent the U.S. in the Fed Cup final, hosting Italy on Nov. 6-7, 2010, in San Diego, Calif.
Also on the team will be the players that got them to the final in 2010: Melanie Oudin, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and doubles specialist Liezel Huber. It remains to be seen where Oudin, Mattek-Sands and Huber will fit in, making some tough choices for U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez, since the Williams sisters excel in singles and are undefeated in Fed Cup doubles as a team. Oudin, Mattek-Sands and Huber have led the U.S. squad to their second consecutive final, while the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based Williams sisters are making their first Fed Cup appearance since 2007.
"As captain, you always want to have your best players. I am very excited that Venus and Serena have made themselves available for the Fed Cup Final in San Diego," said Fernandez, who last year in her rookie season as captain led the U.S. to the Fed Cup final for the first time since 2003. "Teaming Venus and Serena with Melanie, who continues to play an integral role in all of our Fed Cup matches, Bethanie, who has come through in decisive matches, and Liezel, who has been crucial in our doubles, we have one of the strongest line-ups in years. I strongly believe that this team can win the Fed Cup title on our home soil."
Serena Williams is 4-0 career in singles and 3-0 in doubles in Fed Cup matches. Venus has a career 14-2 record in singles and 3-2 in doubles, with the two doubles losses coming with Lisa Raymond and Corina Morariu. Tennis Channel will present live daily coverage of the U.S. vs. Italy Fed Cup final. This will mark the first time the Fed Cup final has been played in the United States since 2000, when the U.S. won their record 17th Fed Cup title. The match-up between the U.S. and Italy will mark the second consecutive Fed Cup final between the two nations. The U.S. lost to Italy on a red clay court in Reggio Calabria, Italy last year, 4-0, without the Williams sisters.
In the 1999 Fed Cup semifinal, Venus and Serena Williams competed in their first-ever Fed Cup matches, facing Italy in Ancona on red clay. Both Venus and Serena won their singles matches, as well as the doubles match together, to give the U.S. a 4-1 victory over the Italians.