Tennis: Williams sisters hoping to play Fed Cup final
AP Sports Writer
ROME — Venus and Serena Williams are interested in playing the Fed Cup final against Italy in November despite skipping the United States' victory over the Czech Republic last weekend.
"I would love to play in the final. Serena and I would both love to play," Venus Williams said Sunday at the Italian Open, where both sisters are entered. "We talked about it, and we just have to stay healthy. I really hope we can both play. It will be great for the U.S."
Italy will host the Nov. 7-8 final at a site still to be determined.
Italy is looking for the slowest clay courts it can find to soften the impact of the Williamses' punishing groundstrokes. Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti said he's even considering holding the tie outside despite the late fall date, perhaps in southern Italy or the islands of Sardegna or Sicily.
"I would love an island, but wherever you put me, I'll go," Venus said.
In the 3-2 semifinal win over the Czech Republic, Fed Cup rookies Alexa Glatch and Bethanie Mattek-Sands lined up for U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez.
Italy is led by Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta, while Roberta Vinci has a 13-0 record in Fed Cup doubles. Vinci paired with Sara Errani in Italy's 4-1 semifinal win over Russia.
The U.S. has won a record 17 Fed Cup titles but none since 2000, while the Italians have reached three of the past four finals, winning their only title in 2006 over Belgium.
"The Italians still have a great team," Venus said. "They're all very good athletes."