US Olympic tennis team stays intact as Raymond loses arbitration

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The Independent Online

Serena Williams will play doubles with her sister Venus at the Sydney Olympics after an arbitrator today turned down a bid by Lisa Raymond to replace the defending U.S. Open singles champion on the American tennis team.

Serena Williams will play doubles with her sister Venus at the Sydney Olympics after an arbitrator today turned down a bid by Lisa Raymond to replace the defending U.S. Open singles champion on the American tennis team.

The WTA Tour rankings were used to select the singles players - Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams and Monica Seles - for the Olympics, but coach Billie Jean King completed the squad by picking the younger Williams to play doubles.

Venus Williams had indicated after winning Wimbledon last month that she might skip the Olympics unless her younger sister was picked, too.

Raymond, ranked No. 1 in the world in doubles, filed for arbitration, saying Serena Williams had no rankings in doubles after playing just two tournaments in the last year. Her petition was denied.

There was no immediate explanation for the decision. Raymond was playing doubles at a tournament in New Haven, Connecticut, and unavailable for comment.

"The USTA's goal has always been to provide a fair and objective process in selecting the U.S. Olympic team," Rick Ferman, executive director of the U.S. Tennis Association, said in a prepared statement. "We regret any misinformation that may have led to confusion."

The Williams sisters and Davenport have combined to win the women's singles in the last five Grand Slam tournaments. The Williams sisters are the defending U.S. Open doubles champions and also won the doubles at Wimbledon in July.

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