Monica Seles, Meghann Shaughnessy and Lisa Raymond have been named by U.S. Fed Cup captain Billie Jean King and the United States Tennis Association to join Venus Williams in the US team to face Italy in the Fed Cup quarterfinals against Italy, July 19-20 in Washington, D.C, Tennis Week reports.
Seles, ranked No. 18, is likley to be the U.S. No. 2 behind Venus Williams for the tie. Interestingly, when the two teams met in Ancona, Italy, in 1999, Williams and Seles were the U.S. Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Seles, in fact, suffered her first Fed Cup defeat, falling to Farina Elia, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Seles, suffering from tendinitis in her right hand, was replaced by Serena Williams on the event’s second day, and the United States went on to a 4-1 victory.
Seles never played Fed Cup for her native Yugoslavia, but has been a member of 11 of the 13 U.S. Fed Cup teams named since her 1996 debut against Japan. She has not competed since Roland Garros, where she lost in the first round to eventual-semifinalist Nadia Petrova. Seles, whose career Fed Cup record is 17-2 (15-2 in singles), withdrew from Wimbledon because of a left foot injury that has troubled her all year.
Shaughnessy and Raymond will m ost likley form the doubles pairing. In their only previous outing for the United States, they defeated Israel’s Tzipora Obziler and Hila Rosen in last year’s Fed Cup World Group playoffs.
Italian captain Corrado Barazzutti has not named his team and has until July 9 to do so, the deadline for team nominations to be submitted to the ITF. Antonella Serra Zanetti, Flavia Pennetta, Roberta Vinci and Mara Santangelo were chosen for Italy in the 3-2 first round victory against Sweden. The United States has never lost to Italy in eight previous Fed Cup encounters. If top-ranked Italians Silvia Farina Elia and Francesca Schiavone were to make themselves available for this tie, it could take on a whole different complexion.
Other commitments prevent Serena Williams from being on this team.
Tickets for the tie are now on sale. Sold in two-day packages ranging from $75 to $220, tickets may be purchased by calling 888-334-USTA (8782) or through any Ticketmaster outlet.
This will be the first time in the 40-year history of Fed Cup that the event will be held in the the USA's capital. The William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center, in Rock Creek Park, annually hosts the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, an ATP event. In 1997, it was the site of a soldout Davis Cup tie between the United States and Australia.