By Alexandra Willis
20 October 2010
The injured Serena Williams, who yesterday announced that she has re-torn a tendon in her foot, will have to travel to the Fed Cup final in San Diego from the 6-7 November if she wants to keep alive her ambitions of competing in the 2012 Olympics at Wimbledon. According to ITF Olympic regulations, a player must make themselves available for international duty for two of the four calendar years in the build-up to an Olympic Games.
Serena and elder sister Venus have fulfilled the regulations in so far as ‘making themselves available’ by announcing their intention to compete for the USA against Italy for the first time since 2007. But there are certain caveats to the rules. If a player makes themselves available for a tie but is not selected by the captain to compete, that counts as having fulfilled their commitment. Similarly, if a player has committed to play, but becomes injured, that player has to be physically present at the location where the tie is taking place in order to fulfill their commitment.
Venus Williams confirmed the end to her competitive season several weeks ago, citing a knee injury sustained during her run to the US Open semi-finals. Serena has not competed since picking up her fourth Wimbledon title, after reportedly cutting her foot in a restaurant in July, and although due to return before the end of the year, revealed that she has had to undergo further surgery.
“It is with deep frustration that I am withdrawing from the WTA Championships at Doha and the Fed Cup final. Pushed by my desire to return to competition, I trained too hard too soon and re-tore the tendon in my foot,” she said in a statement. “As a result, yesterday morning I had to have another procedure to repair it.”
The 2012 Olympics, which will be played on grass at the All England Club in Wimbledon, would provide the opportunity for the Williams sisters to win their third gold medal together, having won the doubles title at the 2000 Sydney Games and 2008 Beijing Games. Venus also won the singles gold medal in Sydney in 2000.
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