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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tennis: Venus Williams bows out of Fed Cup

Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Venus Williams will not play for the U.S. in the Fed Cup semifinals against Russia this weekend, joining her sister Serena on the sidelines.

Williams said Wednesday she is still rehabilitating a troublesome knee injury and isn't ready to return to competition.

"I waited until this moment in hopes that I would have an opportunity to play, but I am being advised by my medical support team that I will need more time to recover," Williams said in a statement to USTA.com.

U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez said Williams told her of the decision Wednesday morning. Fernandez had been holding out a spot for the matches, hoping at least one of the sisters would recover from leg problems in time to compete.

Fernandez said that Venus is not quite ready. She wore wraps on both legs in the tournament final April 3 in Key Biscayne, Fla.

"She's been trying to get better," Fernandez said. "Obviously I knew it was going to be tough for her because she hurt herself at the end of the Miami tournament and couldn't hit balls until the last week or so. I did everything I could do to give her as much time as possible to see if she got better. She's not quite there."

The team includes Melanie Oudin, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Liezel Huber. Fernandez will choose between teenagers Christina McHale and Sloane Stephens to fill the final spot.

"They're both ready," Fernandez said. "They're both equally capable and playing really well. They can both do it."