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Tart with a Heart
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Venus Williams will play for the US against Italy in next month's Federation Cup tie in Washington DC.
"Venus is one of the marquee names in women's sports and I am thrilled that she has committed to represent our country in Fed Cup in our nation's capital," said US captain Billie Jean King.

The winner of tie will advance to the semi-finals in November.

The rest of the team has not been announced and it is not known whether Venus will be joined by younger sister Serena, the world number one.

Both sisters played in the 5-0 first-round defeat of the Czech Republic in April.

Hantuchova no-show

Defending champions Slovakia will have to face Belgium in their quarter-final without Daniela Hantuchova.

The 20-year-old has seen her form slump recently amidst concerns over her weight, which has dropped dramatically.

Hantuchova, who lost in the second round of the French Open to American teenager Ashley Harkleroad, has informed the Slovak authorities that she wishes to concentrate on individual events.

"Slovakia are the titleholders, but we will be in Belgium in a position where we have nothing to lose," said Slovak captain Tomas Malik.

Belgium will line up with the recently-crowned French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne and runner-up Kim Clijsters, ranked second and third in the world.

The Slovak team will be based around the lowly-ranked Henrieta Nagyova and Janette Husarova.
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