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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32069-2003Jun8.html

Venus in, Serena Out For Fed Cup in D.C.

By Rachel Nichols
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 9, 2003; Page D03

Venus Williams is coming to Washington. Despite a recent stumble at the French Open and a heavy tennis schedule this summer, Williams has committed to play for the U.S. Fed Cup team that will face Italy in July, giving organizers hope of selling out Rock Creek Park's William H.G. FitzGerald Center.

The last time Venus and Serena Williams played for the U.S. team, a 4,200-seat stadium in Lowell, Mass., sold out in less than seven hours. This time, Serena has declined an invitation to play and the stadium is nearly twice the size, but Arlen Kantarian, the U.S. Tennis Association's chief executive, still expects the event to be a major draw.

"Venus is the one that started this current tidal wave of interest in women's tennis, and it's great that she's going to come in and lead the charge in Fed Cup for us," Kantarian said. "She brings more than just her talent -- she remains one of the top names in all of sports, and she'll bring an awful lot of excitement."

It is unclear who else will be joining Venus on the drawsheet. With Serena a definite "no" and Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenport highly unlikely because of injuries, popular veteran Chanda Rubin is the next most promising candidate. But Rubin and U.S. captain Billie Jean King still are trying to work out scheduling and team rules issues -- King doesn't allow players to have any personal coaches during Fed Cup weeks and also requires all players to participate in six days of team-related activities.

Meghann Shaughnessy also is a possibility, although whoever else makes the roster, the biggest attraction for Washington fans certainly will be Venus Williams.

"I've learned so much from Zina [Garrison] and Billie," Williams said at the last round of matches. "I've been able to really work hard and focus, and I don't have any excuse of why I can't show up to practice like at home. I'm sold. I love it. I love playing for the team."

Tickets for the July 19-20 event go on sale today through Ticketmaster.


© 2003 The Washington Post Company
 

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*does a dance* :D
 

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Great news! At the French, I could already see improvements on her second serve! (she was hitting it harder then Serena was :D )...another week with BJK and Zina and her forehand should improve!

GO VEE!
 

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tennisIlove09 said:
Great news! At the French, I could already see improvements on her second serve! (she was hitting it harder then Serena was :D )...another week with BJK and Zina and her forehand should improve!

GO VEE!

I know, in the third round against Farina Elia, she was hitting her groundstrokes harder (like the Venus we're used to) and her second serve was no joke. I just think that the fourth round found her struggling with the nagging abdominal strain where she couldn't find a forehand if she paid for it and her serving was out there too. It brought tears to my eyes because I knew she must've been in bad shape and still so close to winning. So Venus, rest up that injury, get practicing on your excellent net game and come out blazing at Wimbledon. Go VEE. :bounce:
 

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jean_genie said:
I know, in the third round against Farina Elia, she was hitting her groundstrokes harder (like the Venus we're used to) and her second serve was no joke. I just think that the fourth round found her struggling with the nagging abdominal strain where she couldn't find a forehand if she paid for it and her serving was out there too. It brought tears to my eyes because I knew she must've been in bad shape and still so close to winning. So Venus, rest up that injury, get practicing on your excellent net game and come out blazing at Wimbledon. Go VEE. :bounce:
she needs the matches for the summer so i thinks its a great idea to play fed cup
 

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Heavy tennis schedule? The last I checked, she is oly playing San Diego and Canada along with the US Open. I am hoping that she plays New Haven or Los Angeles (even though that would mean Serena might withdraw).
 

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I bought my tickets.
 

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Lizchris: Venus is also signed up for LA. But I doubted she'll play SD, LA and Toronto...
 

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Frankly, I hope she doesn't play ANYWHERE until she's 100%!!!!
When she doubles over in pain it makes me cringe!

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, VENUS> WE WHO LOVE YOU CAN WAIT
UNTIL YOU'RE READY!!
 
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