Venus Williams to travel with US Fed Cup team

Updated: Apr 06, 2011, 11:16 AM IST

New York: Venus Williams plans to travel with the US Fed Cup team for its World Group playoff at Germany but is not expected to play because of an injured hip that has sidelined her since January.

The US Tennis Association said Tuesday that Williams` management team said she "intends to make the trip."

The USTA also said it considers that enough to fulfil participation requirements for the 2012 Olympics, because Williams is willing to play Fed Cup and can`t because she`s hurt.

The seven-time Grand Slam title winner hasn`t played since her hip caused her to stop playing only minutes into a match in the Australian Open`s third round.

"Hopefully, she`ll be able to practice. I don`t expect her to play but, obviously, in the next 10 days, if she`s playing great and feeling fit, then there`s always that possibility," US captain Mary Joe Fernandez said in a conference call.

Williams` younger sister Serena, out of action since July with a series of health problems, will not attend the April 16-17 matches at Stuttgart, Germany.

"Our primary concern is Serena`s health and supporting her needs to get better. We`ve been advised by Serena`s management that Serena needs to remain in the United States to receive daily medical treatment," the USTA said in a statement.”

"In regards to the 2012 Olympic eligibility issue, the rules are written in such a way that they are open to interpretation. We are not focused on Serena`s Olympic eligibility right now. We are focused on beating Germany."

She was diagnosed in February with a blood clot in her lungs, then needed treatment for a hematoma. The 13-time major champion also had two operations for a foot injury she got when she stepped on glass a few days after winning Wimbledon last summer.

"I think right now, doctors advise against travelling. She has to, I think, be seen every day. We`re just hoping she can have a speedy recovery and get healthy," Fernandez said.

"Tennis is really the last thing we`re concerned about. We`re just concerned that Serena gets better."

The Williams sisters have not competed for the US Fed Cup team since 2007. The International Tennis Federation wants players to participate in Fed Cup or Davis Cup in order to be eligible to compete at an Olympics.

"The USTA`s position has been that if a player makes himself/herself available for Davis Cup or Fed Cup, and if the player is physically unable to compete, then the player can travel to the tie to support the team and will have fulfilled that portion of the player`s Olympic eligibility requirements," the USTA said.

Bureau Report