Venus Williams helped the United States advance in the Fed Cup on Sunday. Then she assisted in her sister's return to competitive tennis. The second assignment didn't go as well as the first.

Venus Williams defeated Richel Hogenkamp 7-5, 6-1 in Asheville, N.C., to give the U.S. a decisive 3-0 lead in its best-of-five matchup with the Netherlands. The U.S. advanced to a World Group semifinal April 21-22 at France, which defeated Belgium 3-2 over the weekend.

The victory clinched, Venus then played doubles with Serena Williams, who was returning to tennis after spending a year away to become a mother. They lost 6-2, 6-3 to Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs.

"Honestly, I feel like we were all a team out here, us playing and everyone in the stands," Venus Williams said.

The Czech Republic, Fed Cup champion in five of the past seven years, beat Switzerland 3-0 in Prague to reach the semifinals. It will play Germany, which beat Belarus 3-2 in Minsk.


49ers' Foster arrested

San Francisco 49ers All-Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested Sunday on suspicion of domestic violence and possessing an assault rifle.

Arrest records show Foster was booked at the Santa Clara (Calif.) County jail with bail set at $75,000. The East Bay Times reported that a woman in a relationship with Foster told officers an assault occurred after an argument.

Around the horn

Drag racing: Brittany Force escaped serious injury in a crash in the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. She was to be hospitalized overnight because of bruised lungs.

Baseball: Venezuelan authorities said police rescued the mother of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz three days after she was kidnapped. Five police officers are alleged to be behind the kidnapping.