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Resting top players, defending champion Italy to be led by Knapp and Giorgi vs. US in Fed Cup

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ROME - Defending champions Italy will be led by 45th-ranked Karin Knapp when it visits the United States in the first round of the Fed Cup next month.

Captain Corrado Barazzutti named Knapp, No. 84 Camila Giorgi, No. 163 Nastassja Burnett and No. 704 Alice Matteucci to his squad Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Giorgi and the 18-year-old Matteucci will be making their Fed Cup debuts.

Giorgi reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open in September.

The Italians top four players Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci, Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone asked to skip the tie, citing a rough travel schedule.

Errani and Vinci won the Australian Open doubles title last week.

The Fed Cup series will be held Feb. 8-9 in Cleveland on an indoor hard court.

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