KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. - Serena Williams’ comeback will include a trip with sister Venus to Slovenia next month for the U.S. Fed Cup team.
The sisters will play singles, and 47-year-old Martina Navratilova will play doubles with Lisa Raymond, new captain Zina Garrison said Thursday. The first-round best-of-five match will be played on clay April 24-25 at Portoroz.
Serena Williams, sidelined since left knee surgery Aug. 1, returns to action Friday against Marta Marrero at the Nasdaq-100 Open.
“She’s excited to be back on the court,” Garrison said. “I hadn’t seen that excitement in a while.”
Venus Williams, also hampered by injuries, has played only six matches since losing to Serena in the Wimbledon final last July.
Serena is 6-0 in Fed Cup competition, and Venus is 8-1. Navratilova is 30-0, and Raymond is 6-4.
“I call it a ’dream team’ for more than one reason,” Garrison said. She replaced Billie Jean King, whose team lost the 2003 final to France.
Garrison said one change she’ll make is a more lenient policy regarding practice. King kicked Jennifer Capriati off the team on the eve of a 2002 match when they clashed over whether Capriati could practice on her own with her father, who is her coach. The United States then lost to heavy underdog Austria.
“We will have a team practice in the morning, and in the afternoon they will be able to come with their coaches,” Garrison said.
When asked if the policy could be called the “Capriati Rule,” Garrison smiled.
“No, that would be called the Zina Garrison rule,” she said.
Slovenian captain Mima Jausovec has until April 14 to choose her team. The U.S.-Slovenia winner advances to the quarterfinals July 10-11 against Slovakia or Austria.
Rafael Nadal is currently ranked fourth in the world, but has had a dominant run lately as he has won seven of the last eight French Open titles. Mary Carrillo thinks we’re in store for a Nadal-Djokovic final.
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