ROME -- Defending champion Italy will not use its top players at the United States 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 competition in Cleveland.
Instead, Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti will likely rely on Camila Giorgi, Karin Knapp, Nastassja Burnett and Alice Matteucci.
The top players cited a travel schedule that would have taken them from the Australian Open to a tournament in Paris, then Cleveland, then to another tournament in Doha, Qatar -- over a 16-day span.
Errani and Vinci won the Australian Open doubles title Friday.
Barazzutti says, "We decided to accept the request of our veterans."
The team will be named officially Wednesday.