WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber will sit out the first-round Fed Cup matches between the United States and Germany.
New U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi announced her roster on Wednesday for the best-of-five series on Feb. 11-12 in Maui, Hawaii.
The Williams sisters met in the Australian Open final, with Serena winning her 23rd Grand Slam title. Serena also replaced Kerber, who was the Australian Open defending champion, at No. 1 in the WTA rankings this week.
The American team will include Australian Open singles semifinalist CoCo Vandeweghe, Australian Open doubles champion Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Alison Riske and Shelby Rodgers.
The German roster includes Laura Siegemund, Andrea Petkovic, Julia Goerges and Carina Witthoeft.
The winning country will meet Spain or the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup semifinals in April.
BIRMINGHAM, England — Elina Svitolina was eliminated in the second round of the Aegon Classic on Thursday, losing to Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the second round.
Svitolina, a 22-year-old Ukrainian who recently broke into the top 10, said a foot injury could force her to skip Wimbledon.
“There is a question about it,” Svitolina said. “I will talk with my physios. The season is very long and I must look at the bigger picture.
“The heel feels painful and is very sensitive. I am disappointed I am out of the tournament but I am not disappointed with my performance, because I could not show even 50 percent. Also the court was slippery which is bad for the foot.”
Giorgi will next face Ashleigh Barty in the quarterfinals.
The Aegon Classic originally boasted seven of the world’s top 10 players, but four withdrew with injuries. It has now lost the two top seeded players who started the tournament, Svitolina and Dominika Cibulkova.
LONDON — Marin Cilic avoided becoming the latest seeded player to depart early at Queen’s by beating Stefan Kozlov 6-0, 6-4 Thursday and advancing to the quarterfinals at the Wimbledon warm-up event.
The fourth-seeded Cilic is the top player left following the first-round exits of Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic – the top three seeded players. Fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is also out.
Cilic, the 2012 champion at Queen’s, lost only 10 points in the first set and didn’t face a break point in the match against the 19-year-old Kozlov.
“At a tournament like this, we have so many great grass-court players,” Cilic said of the slew of upsets so far at Queen’s. “Considering it’s also one of the first weeks on grass, it’s always very tricky.”
Cilic will play another American, Donald Young, in the last eight.