February 3rd, 2014
Russian tennis was crumbling even before legendary captain Shamil Tarpischev bailed out last year in favor of new Russian captain Anastasia Myskina. The iron-handed Tarpischev always seemed to pull together the top Russians, as evident by Fed Cup titles in four of five years from 2004-08. But over the last few years, due to payout squabbles and changes in the Russian sports hierarchy, Russian Fed Cup has become a joke. All the top Russian players have again blown off this tie for Mother Russia, and the rookie captain Myskina now has at her disposal Victoria Kan (ranked No. 160), Irina Khromacheva (240), Valeria Solovyeva (247), and Veronika Kudermetova (689) in her first tie as captain. Good luck with that. Australia will post with their top player and former Slam winner Sam Stosur, in addition to Casey Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty, and will ease into the semifinals. This is an “F” on the watchability report card.
February 11th, 2013
Varvara Lepchenko keeps the U.S. in it with two singles wins, but the Americans, without the Williams sisters or the injured Sloane Stephens, get scrubbed in the deciding doubles 6-2, 6-2.
April 20th, 2012
Serbia will front two former No. 1s in Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, while Russia counters with former world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova appearing in her fifth tie.
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August 14th, 2011
Best headline of the week from Canada’s National Post: “Anderson drops a piano on Murray at Rogers Cup”…
April 18th, 2011
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?
November 7th, 2010
Fernandez took a chance on Vandeweghe after a reportedly bad practice week from Melanie Oudin. Oudin has had a down year since her quarterfinal breakthrough at the US Open last year. Fernandez benched Oudin on Saturday, then on Sunday Oudin showed her veteran composure by not only upsetting Top 10er Francesca Schiavone but blowing out the Italian, allowing her only four games.
November 6th, 2010
U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez will have to choose between the overwhelmed Coco Vanderweghe and Melanie Oudin, who was benched from the first day for a poor practice week, in the first match on Sunday.
November 6th, 2010
Vandeweghe is much like Oudin when she first appeared on tour — not in the best of shape, with a bit of a “gut” visible, and a poor mover. That changed for Oudin when she worked with her trainers to erase the extra body fat and gain speed. Hopefully that is ahead for Vandeweghe, and not just a reliance on a thumping serve and forehand.
April 25th, 2010
On the opening day Saturday Melanie Oudin defeated Kudryavtseva, then the Russian Dementieva evening the tie at 1-1 with a straight-set win over Mattek-Sands. On Sunday in the opener Oudin failed to match her heroics at the US Open where she defeated Dementieva, falling to the Russian despite winning the second set 6-0.
February 7th, 2010
In the semifinals the U.S. will host Russia in April after the Russians defeated Serbia 3-2. In the deciding doubles match Svetlana Kuznetsova and Alisa Kleybanova defeated Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-4 to advance.
January 31st, 2010
Notes: Croats Cilic, Ljubicic, Karlovic among seeds; Cilic could face Crazi Dani 2nd rd.; (4) Troicki opens against Schuettler, and (2) Ljubicic vs. Clement; Cilic beat Mario “Baby Goran” Ancic in last year’s all-Croat final; Ljubicic won in 2006.
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November 8th, 2009
“It’s a very nice feeling. We worked hard to get to this point, finally we made it,” Pennetta said. “In the beginning of the week everyone expected so many things…now we are 3-0 and we can enjoy it.”
April 27th, 2009
Indeed, the high-powered Serb team would be a favorite in virtually any situation, and would be favorites to humble even last weekend’s World Group semifinalists, the underpowered U.S. and Czech Republic teams, and the scrappy Italians and the injury-ravaged Russian squad. Last weekend the U.S., without the Williams sisters, and Italy advanced to the Fed Cup final.
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April 25th, 2009
Apparently not expected enough. Although the Russian squad had a better part of a week to train in the conditions, Kuznetsova also complained about the court. Blowing away Schiavone 6-1 in the first, Kuznetsova nonetheless blamed the court and alternating sunny/shady weather after letting the Italian back in the match before losing 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.
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April 23rd, 2009
Nine of the current Top 10 on the WTA rankings are American, Russian or Serb players.