March 29, 2008 / 11:13 PM / 12 years ago

Williams sisters will miss Fed Cup semi, says Davenport

MIAMI, Florida (Reuters) - United States will be without Serena and Venus Williams for the Fed Cup semi-final against Russia in Moscow next month, according to former world number one Lindsay Davenport.

“I saw Venus in Memphis (earlier this year) and she said she wasn’t going,” American Davenport told reporters on Saturday after reaching the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open.

“I tried for about one minute (to change her mind) and she just smiled and said ‘Nope’.”

“I hadn’t seen Serena until I got here. It was really brief as she was walking to go out and play. I said, “Hey, are you going?’ She said, ‘Nope’.”

Although disappointed the U.S. cannot field their strongest team against holders Russia, Davenport did not criticize the Williams sisters.

“I totally respect the decision of players,” she said.

Russia will put together a formidable squad including Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova, world number four Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anna Chakvetadze (6), Elena Dementieva (11) and Dinara Safina (13).

Editing by Tony Jimenez

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