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Join Date: Sep 2001
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USA Announces Fed Cup Team
BOSTON (AP) -- Meghann Shaughnessy and Alexandra Stevenson will join Serena and Venus Williams on the U.S. team in the first round of the Fed Cup against the Czech Republic next month.
Shaughnessy is ranked 22nd and Stevenson is 27th. Serena Williams and Venus Williams are ranked first and second, and were previously named to the squad that will compete in Lowell on April 26-27.
``We have an unbelievable team,'' Fed Cup captain Billie Jean King said during a conference call Tuesday.
Shaughnessy played in the 2002 Fed Cup against Austria and Israel. Stevenson will be making her Fed Cup debut.
King said some higher ranked players declined to join the team in the first round because it was already strong with the Williams sisters. King added that she received assurances they would be available for future rounds.
``They thought this would be a good time for them to take a break,'' King said.
This is the fifth time in Fed Cup history the world's top two players will be on the same team. The Williams sisters played on the 1999 Fed Cup team that won the title over Russia. Serena is 3-0 in the Fed Cup and Venus is 5-1.
The United States has won 17 Fed Cup titles, more than any other nation since the competition began in 1963. Slovakia won last year.
The Czech team has not been announced. The winner in Lowell will play Sweden or Italy in July.
``To be frank, most people don't know what the Fed Cup is,'' King said. ``This is our chance to put it on the map.''