Will they play? Won’t they play?
That’s the constant question when it comes to Serena and Venus Williams and Fed Cup. Whether they lend their name to the cause, back out of commitment or don’t sign up to play at all, the Fed Cup and the Williamses just don’t seem to mesh.
There are those fans who say stop picking on the sisters. There’s no denying they’re great players, not only the best in America, but often the best in the world. But let’s be honest: The last time the Williamses played Fed Cup was way back in 2007.
Venus has the better Fed Cup history with a 17-4 win-loss record in eight ties played (14-2 singles, 3-2 doubles). She last played against Russia in the 2007 semifinal. Serena has been way less active with a 7-0 win-loss record in a skimpy four ties played (4-0 singles, 3-0 doubles). She last played against Belgium in the 2007 quarterfinal.
This summer, with a second straight final against Italy looming in November, U.S. Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez made the big announcement: The sisters were interested in playing. It really wasn’t a surprise. San Diego, the location for the final, provided an ideal situation — an opportunity to play Fed Cup at home and secure qualification for the 2012 Olympics. A player is required by the International Tennis Federation to be available to play Fed Cup in advance of every Olympics.
Injuries, however, not only put an end to the dreams of a Fed Cup final dream team, but also to the sisters’ seasons: Serena was still experiencing complications from stepping on glass at a bar in Europe this summer, and Venus was suffering from chronic knee problems.