US which hasn't won the Fed Cup since its 5-0 win over Spain in 2000, is hard-hit by the injuries to the William sisters. However, they would draw inspiration from the fact that without the charismatic duo of Venus and Serena Williams, they have managed to reach the last two Fed Cup finals.
But given the form that Clijsters is in, it would be foolhardy to expect too much from the World No. 48 Bethanie Mattek-Sands and World No. 61 Melanie Oudin of the US.
Speaking of the Belgian prospects, Clijsters said, "They perform great when they feel they are part of a team."
Apart from Clijsters, US also has to worry about World No. 26 Yanina Wickmayer who is suffering from a nasty cough, but can still can be a handful. She has said that she will be under medication right up to Feb 5 opening matches.