- Associated Press - Sunday, January 26, 2014

ROME (AP) - Defending champion Italy will rest its top players when it faces the United States in Cleveland next month in the first round of the Fed Cup.

The Italian tennis federation says in a statement that Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci, Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone asked to skip the Feb. 8-9 matches.

Instead, Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti will likely rely on Camila Giorgi, Karin Knapp, Nastassja Burnett and Alice Matteucci. Says Barazzutti: “We decided to accept the request of our veterans.”

The top players cited a travel schedule that over 16 days would have taken them from the Australian Open to a tournament in Paris, then Cleveland, then to another tournament in Qatar.

Errani and Vinci won the Australian Open doubles title Friday.

The team will be announced Wednesday.

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