Serena says ready to play Fed Cup, if fit

BEIJING: Serena Williams, who will reclaim the number one ranking on Monday, says she wants to play for the United States in the Fed Cup final against Italy in November -- as long as she is not "in a wheelchair".

Williams, who was knocked out of the China Open late Thursday, said that if she was in shape after this month's season-ending championships in Qatar, she would be ready for the November 7-8 showdown on clay in Reggio Calabria.

"I definitely want to play again. I am just trying to get there. It's just really hard to see how my body is going to be after Doha -- if I am going to be walking or if I am going to be in a wheelchair," the 28-year-old Williams said.

"If I'm walking, then I really want to go. But if I'm in a wheelchair, then we have great people like Melanie (Oudin), who I think can really do a good job, and Liezel (Huber), who is number one in doubles.

"We really have a really good team. Quite frankly, they got there without me, but I would love to go and support."

In April, with the Williams sisters opting not to play, the US defeated the Czech Republic 3-2 in the semifinals, with Alexa Glatch and Bethanie Mattek-Sands playing singles, and Mattek-Sands teaming with Huber in doubles.

Glatch is currently the world number 109 and Mattek-Sands is ranked 110th.

Williams, currently number two, will reclaim the top spot from Russia's Dinara Safina on Monday, while sister Venus is the world number three. Teen sensation Oudin is the world number 45.

Asked whether Venus would vie for a spot on the Fed Cup squad for the November final, Williams said she could not speak on her behalf.

In Italy, the US will be looking to win the Fed Cup title for the first time since 2000.