Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Kvitova sends Czechs into Fed Cup semis; United States prevail

Kvitova sends Czechs into Fed Cup semis; United States prevail

But Williams, whose triumph in Melbourne a year ago gave her an Open-era record 23rd grand slam - one shy of the all-time record held by Australian Margaret Court - still has a desire to compete in tennis's blue riband events.

Williams' older sister, Venus, enters the weekend as the U.S. Team's No. 1 seed and the No. 8 ranked player in the world.

The 23-time Grand Slam victor also said on Friday she's not sure if she will participate in the remaining Grand Slam events this year, as part of her goal of catching up to 24-time victor Margaret Court. But it also showed tennis fans that the 23-time major victor still had a long way to go, enough so that it prevented her from defending her title in Melbourne.

"The 62th ranked Davis, coming off an historic match against WTA No. 1 Simona Halep at the Australian Open, has played just one Fed Cup doubles match in her career (a win with Madison Keys during the 2014 World Group quarterfinals) and said she was 'really happy I've been chosen to be part of the Fed Cup team with these four wonderful ladies".

"I have long-term goals obviously, but right now my main goal is just to stay in the moment", she said. "But she's definitely remained just very youthful and childlike at heart".

Speaking ahead of her comeback at the Fed Cup in Asheville, North Carolina, where the United States begns the defence of its crown against an unfancied Netherlands team on Saturday, the 36-year-old said she had the benefit of a new outlook following the birth of her baby daughter Alexis Olympia in September.

Also credited for a newfound sense of zen was her family life with baby Alexis and husband Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit whom she Wednesday in November. "I love motherhood, and I look forward to just being the best mom I can be".

"She's been really, really positive", Williams said.

'It's a quick turnaround after having her first child. "You have to get used to that, get in the rhythm of that". "She's not beating me in long rallies, so let's just run and grind and see what happens". "Playing Fed Cup and easing her way back with exhibitions". "I think that today's match hopefully will help me for tomorrow".

Williams is not set to take part in the Fed Cup singles this weekend, with her sister Venus and CoCo Vandeweghe scheduled to play both rubbers, with Richel Hogenkamp and Arantxa Rus doing likewise for Holland.

"We went onto the court and held the minute's silence which made us cry", Kvitova said afterwards. Not only does it allow her to practice alongside a few different players, it also enables her coach and teammates to offer different perspectives on her progress.

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