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USTA names Fed Cup team for semifinal

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 27, 2007 – The USTA and U.S. Fed Cup Captain Zina Garrison today announced that eight-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, five-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams, the world’s No. 1 doubles player Lisa Raymond and 18-year-old Vania King will comprise the U.S. team to host Russia in the 2007 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Semifinal July 14-15, at the Stadium at Topnotch in Stowe, Vt. This same team defeated Belgium 5-0 in the quarterfinal in Delray Beach, Fla.

The event has been sold-out for more than two weeks. Tickets went on sale Tuesday, June 5, and sold out within a week, resulting in USTA officials increasing the number of seats in the stadium — constructed specially for the semifinal — from 3,000 to 4,100.

“Venus, Serena, Lisa and Vania are committed to continuing their success as a team,” said Fed Cup Captain Zina Garrison. “Russia is certainly a formidable opponent and we look to play our very best tennis in front of a loud, patriotic crowd in Stowe.”

The Tennis Channel will present live daily coverage. The best-of-five match series begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on July 14 with two singles matches and is followed by two reverse singles matches and the doubles match beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on July 15.

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the world’s largest annual international women’s team competition with 82 countries competing this year. The ITF has final approval rights for all site selections. The United States leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles, the last coming in 2000, and is one of eight nations competing for the 2007 Fed Cup title as part of the Fed Cup World Group.

Serena Williams, 25, is undefeated in Fed Cup play and has yet to surrender a set when competing for the U.S. in Fed Cup. Serena made her Fed Cup debut in 1999 in the semifinal round against Italy, where she and sister, Venus, helped the U.S. to claim its 16th Fed Cup title with a win over Russia. Serena captured her eighth Grand Slam singles title at the 2007 Australian Open and became the third-lowest ranked player in history to win a major singles title.
Venus Williams, 27, swept both of her singles matches to lead the U.S. to a 5-0 victory over Belgium in April. Williams is 15-3 overall in Fed Cup play (12-2 singles; 3-1 doubles) and is currently 12th all-time in total victories in U.S. Fed Cup history. She made her Fed Cup debut in the 1999 semifinal and helped the United States defeat Russia to win the title that year. Venus became the first African-American to achieve a No. 1 world ranking in February 2002.

Raymond, 33, the world No. 1 doubles player, holds a 13-8 overall record in Fed Cup (10-2 in doubles). Raymond is in her seventh year on the team and was a member of the 2000 U.S. Fed Cup team that defeated Spain 5-0 in the World Group Final. Raymond was also on the team the last time the U.S. reached the final in 2003, when the U.S. fell to France, 4-1.

King, 18, clinched the U.S. victory over Belgium in the 2007 quarterfinals by winning her first live singles match vs. Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium. She made her Fed Cup debut in 2006 against Germany with a doubles loss with Shenay Perry. She faced world No. 2 Kim Clijsters in her first live singles match in the semifinal that year in Belgium. King won her first tour singles title in Bangkok last fall.

The U.S. and Russia have met five times in Fed Cup play, with the U.S. leading the series, 4-1. Russia won the most recent meeting, defeating the U.S. in the 2005 semifinals on the way to its second consecutive — and second-ever — Fed Cup crown. The winner of the semifinal will face either France or Italy in the World Group Final.

 

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