No Williams in US Fed Cup team
The United States will have to do without both Williams sisters when they begin their Fed Cup World Group campaign against Italy.
Serena has withdrawn from Mary Joe Fernandez's four-woman team after suffering a back injury during the recent Australian Open, while Venus has opted not to play as she continues to manage her workload.
The duo's absence means that teenage sensation Sloane Stephens will join Varvara Lepchenko, Jamie Hampton and Liezel Huber in the team to face the Italians on February 9-10 in Rimini.
The hosts will field a decent side despite leaving former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone out of the squad, with Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci, Karin Knapp and the uncapped Nastassja Burnett in the ranks, as Flavia Pennetta is currently injured.
Errani and Vinci are both ranked inside the world's top 20 in singles and are the top-rated doubles team in world tennis.
Elsewhere, defending champions Czech Republic have already named an unchanged side from November's final success over Serbia for the clash with Australia, with Petra Kvitova, Lucie Safarova, Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova on board.