''I thought it would be great for me to come here because I knew it would be really relaxing,'' Williams told reporters yesterday.
''This is a place where I could relax. I've got a chance to be at the spa a little bit and go to the pool and then just rest a lot. So it has been perfect.'' Two of the top names in women's tennis will miss the tie, with Venus's sister Serena Williams a late withdrawal and world number two Maria Sharapova absent from the Russian team.
Venus, 27, will get back into serious action today when she plays the second singles rubber against Nadia Petrova.
Vania King, 18, kicks off the tie against world number eight Anna Chakvetadze, who is the top ranked player in the tie.
Sunday's reverse singles opens with Williams-Chakvetadze followed by King against Petrova.
Russia beat the United States 4-1 in the 2005 semi-finals in their last Fed Cup meeting.
The best-of-five tie at the ski resort will conclude with the doubles rubber, featuring King and Lisa Raymond against Petrova and Elena Vesnina.
The winner of the tie meets the survivor of the other semi-final between hosts Italy and France.
King has never played Chakvetadze but was crushed 6-0 6-1 by Petrova in the first round at Wimbledon.
Williams, ranked 17th in the world after battling back from injuries, has a 3-0 career record against Petrova and 1-0 over Chakvetadze.
''I've had some great matches against Nadia,'' Williams said.
''I think we both play pretty similar. We both try to hit the ball a ton, serve big, dictate.'' Petrova added: ''It's going to be a great match, I'm sure, especially after she won Wimbledon. She's playing some of her best tennis at the moment.'' Chakvetadze was optimistic about Russia's chances.
''I think we all feel pretty confident and pretty good,'' the 20-year-old said. ''We're just ready to play.''