Seles, Davenport to head U.S. Fed Cup squad

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Lindsay Davenport, who has missed all of this season with a knee injury, will return to action in a Fed Cup qualifying series against Israel next month.

Also chosen for the U.S. squad by captain Billie Jean King were fourth-ranked Monica Seles, top-ranked doubles player Lisa Raymond and Meghann Shaughnessy.

The United States will play Israel on hardcourts in Springfield, Mo., July 20-21, for the chance to rejoin the Fed Cup world group next year.

The Americans, who have won the cup a record 17 times, were eliminated from the top group by a first-round loss to Austria earlier this year in a series marked by King’s dismissal of the team’s top player, Jennifer Capriati, in a dispute over practice rules.

King said the best-of-five series against Israel was crucial for the United States.

“We have assembled a very talented group of Americans to compete against Israel in Springfield,” she said.

Davenport finished last season ranked No. 1 on the WTA Tour after winning seven singles titles and two doubles championships with Raymond. Her agent said last week that Davenport would return to the tour at the Bank of the West tournament in Stanford, Calif., on July 22.

Seles has played Fed Cup for the United States each year since 1996. She has 53 career singles titles, including nine in Grand Slam events, and won the Madrid Open last month.