Sisters won't play against Austria

Updated: June 30, 2004, 9:38 AM ET
Associated Press

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Serena and Venus Williams will skip the U.S. Fed Cup team's quarterfinal against Austria next month, with Martina Navratilova, Chanda Rubin, Lisa Raymond and Jill Craybas on the team announced Wednesday.

"According to the ranking the Americans are still the favorites, but without Venus Williams they are certainly not as strong. If my girls reach top form anything is possible," Austrian captain Alfred Tesar told The Associated Press in Vienna.

Venus Williams lost in the second round at Wimbledon last week, while Serena reached the semifinals by beating Jennifer Capriati 6-1, 6-1 Wednesday.

Rubin was knocked out in the first round at the All England Club, while Navratilova played singles there for the first time in a decade and reached the second round.

Navratilova and Raymond are playing doubles together at Wimbledon.

Craybas, 30, never has played Fed Cup.

Austria's squad for the July 10-11 matches in Innsbruck is Barbara Schett, Barbara Schwartz, Patricia Wartusch and Sybille Bammer.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press