Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens pull out of Fed Cup tie against Italy
After top Italian players Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci made themselves unavailable for the Fed Cup tie against United States, American world no.1 Serena Williams and experienced campaigner Sloane Stephens also pulled out with injuries.
With Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens pulling out because of injuries, the U.S. Fed Cup team will field an inexperienced roster of Madison Keys, Alison Riske, Christina McHale and Lauren Davis against Italy.
The first-round matches are Feb. 8-9 at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland.
Keys is the highest-ranked member of the U.S. team at 37th. She, Riske and Davis will make their Fed Cup debuts.
The U.S. Tennis Association announced its team Wednesday, saying that the No. 1-ranked Williams has a back injury, and No. 18 Stephens is out with a wrist problem.
Italy also will be without its top two players, No. 7 Sara Errani and No. 14 Roberta Vinci.
Instead the visitors' roster is No. 45 Karin Knapp, No. 84 Camila Giorgi, Nastassja Burnett and Alice Matteucci.