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Veelieve!!!
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.c Reuters

LOWELL, Mass. (April 24) -- U.S. Fed Cup captain Billie Jean King has brought out big guns Serena and Venus Williams for this weekend's tie against the Czech Republic to ensure her team does not suffer another first-round upset.

Last year, the U.S. was shocked at home in Charlotte, N.C., by a Barbara Schwartz-led Austrian team. In that tie, King kicked her top player, Jennifer Capriati, off the team, which resulted in the forfeit of their first match.

After Schwartz upset Monica Seles, King had to substitute Meghann Shaughnessy in the third match and Schwartz defeated Shaughnessy 9-7 in the third set, clinching the tie for Austria over a nation that has won the Fed Cup a record 17 times.

"We're very pumped up this year," King said. "After what happened last year, we are very determined to bring the Fed Cup back home. After Charlotte, the players really bonded together in their goals and commitments."

After winning the 2000 Fed Cup in Las Vegas over Spain, the U.S. opted out of playing the 2001 final in Madrid due to post September 11 security concerns. Belgium won the title.

King expected to raise the Fed Cup again last year until chaos reigned in Charlotte and Slovakia ended up winning the title.

"I will always be sad about it," King said. "But you can either see it as a disaster or a new opportunity.

"It's a motivational factor for all of us. Every single player has come up to me and said: 'We've got to bring back the Cup, this is ridiculous and let's just make it happen'."

With some of the top-ranked players in the world such as Serena (1st), Venus (3rd) Shaughnessy (19th) and Alexandra Stevenson (26th), the U.S. is heavily favored over a young Czech team headed by Daja Bedanova (44th), Iveta Benesova (71st), Klara Koukalova (73rd) Eva Birnerova (163rd).

"We have the best players in the world and we expect to win, but we can't afford to look ahead," said King, who has led her team to three titles in the last eight years.

"They (the U.S. players) are very motivated to make sure what happened against Austria doesn't happen again. But I'd never had a fully healthy team.

"In team play, the human element is so strong, the heart and soul. You never know what can happen -- especially in Fed Cup, when players are representing their countries," added King. "Bedanova could pull a Barbara Schwartz."

The Williams sisters have not played a Fed Cup tie since the 1999 final, when with Lindsay Davenport they led the U.S. to the title over Russia.

Since then Venus and Serena have each won four Grand Slam singles titles. Indeed, the two most powerful players in the world have won six out of the last seven singles Grand Slams.

This weekend, the 2000 Olympic gold medallist doubles team do not want to spend a minute off the court.

"Venus and Serena want to play everything," King said. "They are like let's go, let's rock, let's go do it."

King and her coaching staff have spent a fair amount of time working with former world No. 1 Venus, who has lost to her sister in the last four Grand Slam finals and last month was stunned by Shaughnessy in the fourth round of the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami.

"We're working on helping Venus play with high intensity all the time, getting her forehand more consistent and fixing technical problems in her serve," King said.


Nice :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Even if the Williamses lead the U.S. to victory over the Czechs at the Tsongas Arena in the April 26-27 tie, there is no guarantee they will play in July against either Italy or Sweden or, should the U.S. get there, in November's final, King said.

"I don't know if they will. I haven't talked to them about it yet. I'd like all our players to commit for the whole year, but that's not how it works in the real world."

04/24/03 16:52 ET

Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

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thank you lord! she's getting help with that damn serve! :worship: You go Billie and Zina! GO USA! Give them hizell, dirties!
 

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While one week won't fix it, BJK can tell Vee what she does wrong...and she can fix it herself during matchs. She's done it before
 

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go USA!! but i'm still sad that Linds is not in the team :sad: i mean she should have!
 

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true

dont worry, Lind C will play when V and Rena dont feel like it

she'll most likely be on the Olympic team :(

Heres hoping Monica can still make it
 

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there's three singles players, so Lindsay would be the third at the moment.
 

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Wonderful news!:)
 

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"King and her coaching staff have spent a fair amount of time working with former world No. 1 Venus, who has lost to her sister in the last four Grand Slam finals and last month was stunned by Shaughnessy in the fourth round of the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami.

"We're working on helping Venus play with high intensity all the time, getting her forehand more consistent and fixing technical problems in her serve," King said."

YEAAHH! Go Venus!

infiniti2001, thanks for posting that article.
 

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Good news...yeah hey...!!!!!!

:cool: This news about Venus couldn't have come at a better time!!! :) :)

:wavey: Thanks Infiniti for posting this "very welcomed" article...!!! :hearts: :hearts:


Gooooooooooo VENuussssssssss
 

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King and her coaching staff have spent a fair amount of time working with former world No. 1 Venus, who has lost to her sister in the last four Grand Slam finals and last month was stunned by Shaughnessy in the fourth round of the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami.

"We're working on helping Venus play with high intensity all the time, getting her forehand more consistent and fixing technical problems in her serve," King said.


Thank you, Lord. Finally. Now let's hope Vee is a quick study. :bounce:
 

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:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: Venus :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

I fear no one can give Vee what she really needs. The right mindset to compete against Serena :sad:
 

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servenrichie said:
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: Venus :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

I fear no one can give Vee what she really needs. The right mindset to compete against Serena :sad:
I know :sad: I'm sure Vee could beat Serena with her current game
but does she want to? :sad:
 

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I don't think Venus is the one they should be training or working on. To my knowledge, I think they need to spend a considerable amount of time on Alex's technique and serve and strategy and ok for crying out loud, I think they should have Alex show up two weeks in advance and learn how to play some damm tennis. I don't know but serena and venus really came into their own after they worked with Billie and Zina on Fed Cup and the Olympics. All jokes aside, I think this will be beneficial to Alex- hopefully.
 
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