Venus to lead US team in Fed Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Venus Williams and Lisa Raymond lead the US squad in the Fed Cup.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Portoroz, Slovenia:

There is little doubt about the depth of talent, yet the United States hasn't won the Fed Cup since 2000. Injuries and a crowded schedule usually leave the Americans with a second-second string team. This weekend's first-round World Group tie against Slovenia is no exception. Venus Williams and Lisa Raymond lead the US squad, but at No. 13 and No. 29, they are only the fifth and sixth highest ranked American players, respectively. Above them in the WTA rankings are No. 4 Lindsay Davenport, No. 7 Serena Williams, No. 8 Jennifer Capriati and No. 12 Chanda Rubin. Serena Williams has dropped out because of a knee injury, but her sister Venus has arrived in this northern Adriatic resort for the tie against Slovenia. The United States has won the Fed Cup 17 times, more than any other nation in the tournament's 40-year history. But the last win came in 2000, against Spain in Las Vegas. In 2001, the Americans did not play in the final in the aftermath of 9/11, in 2002 the team was stunned by Austria and last year the Americans lost 1-4 to France in the final. Veteran Martina Navratilova, who played doubles with Raymond in last year's final and picked up the only point for the Americans, is back. Laura Granville completes the team. Tina Pisnik, Katarina Srebotnik, Maja Matevzic and Tina Krizman make up the Slovenia team. The highest-ranked Slovenian, Pisnik, is No. 32. (AP)

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