Williamses hopeful for Fed Cup final

ROME -- Venus and Serena Williams are interested in playing the Fed Cup final against Italy in November despite skipping the United States' victory over the Czech Republic last weekend.

Venus said she and her sister "would both love to play" if they are healthy. She spoke Sunday at the Italian Open, where both are entered.

Italy will host the final Nov. 7-8 at a site still to be determined.

Italy is looking for the slowest clay courts it can find to soften the impact of the Williamses' punishing groundstrokes.

Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti said he's even considering holding the tie outside despite the late fall date, perhaps in southern Italy or the islands of Sardegna or Sicily.