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Injured Stephens out, Oudin in for US in Fed Cup
Sunday - 2/3/2013, 12:46pm EST
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) - Sloane Stephens is pulling out of the U.S. Fed Cup team's upcoming first-round matches against Italy because of a strained abdominal muscle.
Melanie Oudin replaces Stephens on the U.S. roster for the Feb. 9-10 matches on indoor red clay at Rimini, Italy.
Stephens, currently ranked a career-high 17th, was hurt during her run to the Australian Open semifinals last month. She says she's "terribly disappointed" to miss the Fed Cup.
Oudin, a 2009 U.S. Open quarterfinalist, joins Fed Cup rookies Varvara Lepchenko and Jamie Hampton, plus doubles specialist Liezel Huber.
The highest-ranked American, Serena Williams, hurt her back in a quarterfinal loss to Stephens in Melbourne.
Italy is expected to be led by Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)