U.S. captain confident Williams sisters will play Fed Cup

Venus Williams of the U.S. hits a return to Francesca Schiavone of Italy during the US Open tennis tournament in New York September 7, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar

NEW YORK (Reuters) - American Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez is confident that Venus and Serena Williams will represent their country in this year’s final in San Diego.

Neither Williams sister has played Fed Cup tennis since 2007 but both boast enviable records in the team format, where Serena has never lost and Venus boasts a 17-4 record.

“Last year they both committed to playing and we were hoping they were going to be in the final but unfortunately because of injury and tiredness they weren’t able to come to Italy,” said Fernandez. “This year they’re committing again. I’m counting on it and I’m confident.”

Without the Williams sisters, the U.S. team were beaten by Italy 4-0 in the final.

Fernandez, who on Thursday announced she signed a deal to stay on as U.S. Fed Cup captain until the end of 2012, said she was confident of improving on that at this year’s final in San Diego from November 6-7.

“The ultimate thing is to win the Fed Cup and bring it back home to the United States,” said Fernandez. “The best way to do that is to have the best players in the world. It’s going to be fantastic for the team to be around two of the best players to ever play the game, to have that experience and to see how they operate.”

Editing by Frank Pingue