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Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
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By Richard Pagliaro - Germany has replaced the United States in the Fed Cup final, which will be staged in Madrid, Spain November 7-11th, the ITF announced today. The United States, the two-time defending Fed Cup champion, withdrew from the final last week due to concerns over safety in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on America and concerns over security surrounding the international crisis.

Germany was one of four nations, which lost in the playoff for the final. Based on the highest combined ranking of its top two singles players — No. 19 Anke Huber and No. 45 Marlene Weingartner — Germany was given right of first refusal for the opening in the final.

A year ago, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati and Lisa Raymond formed a formidable U.S. squad that swept Spain in the final to capture its 17th Fed Cup championship in Las Vegas and avenge its 1998 loss to Spain in the final held in Madrid. In last year's final, Davenport defeated Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 and clinched the Cup with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Conchita Martinez to raise her Fed Cup record to 21-2. Despite its victory in last year's final, the U.S. was not selected as host nation for this year's Fed Cup final.

Germany replaces America in Group A, which includes 2000 semifinalist the Czech Republic, third-seeded France and Argentina.

French Open finalist Kim Clijsters and Wimbledon runner-up Justine Henin lead second-seeded Belgium, which tops Group B that includes fourth-seeded Spain, Russia and Australia. On the strength of singles standouts Sanchez-Vicario and Martinez, Spain has reached the Fed Cup final in eight of the last 10 ye
 
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