No Serena. No Venus. Now former U.S. darling Melanie Oudin is replaced in the line-up for the Fed Cup final by 18-year-old American Coco Vandeweghe, who will be making her debut?
Good luck with that.
Oudin must have put in some horrifying practice sessions this week for U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez to make that decision.
Vandeweghe made a pseudo-name for herself earlier this year when she beat Vera Zvonareva, who has since risen to No. 2 in the world rankings. She has done little else. Vandeweghe will play in Saturday’s opening singles match against the holding French Open champion and Italy’s top player Francesca Schiavone.
The second match will feature American Bethanie Mattek-Sands against Italy’s Flavia Pennetta. Vandeweghe is the first American to make her Fed Cup debut in a final since Chanda Rubin in 1995.
Vandeweghe has also been penciled in for the reverse singles on Sunday against Pennetta. Oudin is thought to possibly be suffering an injury, but has been penciled-in for the final doubles on Sunday.
Italy trounced the U.S. 4-0 in last year’s final, which was in Italy on red clay. This year in San Diego on a fast indoor hard court surface, Vandeweghe will either choke or become the next U.S. breakout hope, as there is usually little in-between on the big stage of Fed Cup.
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