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Beyond the Baseline

Venus, Serena Williams selected for American Fed Cup team against Sweden

Venus Williams, Serena Williams Serena Williams (right) beat sister Venus at the Family Circle Cup last week. (Stephen Morton/AP)

Serena and Venus Williams will play together on the U.S. Fed Cup team for the first time since February 2012 when the Americans host Sweden in the World Group Playoffs on April 20-21 in Delray Beach, Fla. Along with Sloane Stephens and Varvara Lepchenko, the Americans are fielding a surprisingly strong team comprised of the top four American women, all ranked inside the top 30.

Sweden will send a team led by 54th-ranked Sofia Arvidsson, Johanna Larsson, Hilda Melander and Sandra Roma. The U.S. is attempting to avoid relegation to World Group II after losing their opening tie 3-2 to Italy.

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To say this is a mismatch is an understatement:

https://twitter.com/tumcarayol/status/322005667818921984

In other Fed Cup nomination news, the highly anticipated playoff tie between Germany and Serbia took a hit after both Andrea Petkovic and Jelena Jankovic were left off their respective rosters. Petkovic is nursing multiple injuries after mounting her comeback on the North American hard courts. Serbia will be without Jankovic's services for the second time this year. Jankovic is coming off a strong month and a half that saw her win Bogota, make the semifinals of Miami and the final in Charleston. Her absence tips the tie in favor of the Germans, who will send Angelique Kerber, Mona Barthel, Julia Goerges, and Sabine Lisicki against a slumping Ana Ivanovic, Vesna Dolonc, Bojana Jovanovski and Alexandra Krunic on indoor clay.

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