Not that it showed up on SportsCenter of anything (it barely showed up on the Tennis Channel, tape delayed) but the U.S. Fed Cup got booted from the Fed Cup World Group this weekend after a 5-0 pounding by Germany. This was a World Group Playoffs match to see who stayed in the World Group, so it means the U.S. is out of the top level for the first time since the Fed Cup was created in 1963. This means the U.S. cannot even compete for the title in 2012.
It is a sad time for the nation that has won more Fed Cup titles than anybody. Hell, when the U.S. was dominating tennis with Chris Evert and Tracy Austin and Billie Jean King, the U.S. won seven in a row from 1976-82.
Some might say “But everyone was injured for the Americans!” but that doesn’t pan out.
Mattek-Sands was injured, but clay is her worst surface. The Williams sisters never play Fed Cup, and they only would have played this tie to maintain their Olympics eligibility. Venus Williams reportedly retained her eligibility for the Olympics by hopping on the plane to Stuttgart and sitting in the stands for the U.S. How sad is that?
The Williams sisters are close to retirement, and there are no other hot prospects behind them.
“It wasn’t the pressure of the tie and trying to stay in the World Group, we just came up against a better team,” Fernandez said about Germany, which isn’t even a World Group level team (now they are after beating the U.S.).
Fed Cup makes some of the smallest ripples in the sports pond, but people should be taking notice of this. U.S. women’s tennis isn’t in a slump — it’s over.
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