U.S. Comes From Behind to Defeat Russia, Gain Fed Cup Final
by Staff | April 25th, 2010, 9:33 pm

While Melanie Oudin garnered the headlines, teammate Bethanie Mattek-Sands was the hero on Sunday in the Fed Cup semifinals where the U.S. came from behind to defeat Russian and gain the final. The final will be a rematch where they will again face the Italian team that easily dismissed them in the 2009 final.
Mattek-Sands won her Sunday singles to force the final doubles, where she teamed with Liezel Huber to defeat Elena Dementieva and Russian Fed Cup rookie Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 6-1.

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.

Mattek-Sands then played the hero, outlasting replacement Ekaterina Marakova in three sets to forced the deciding doubles.

The U.S. vs. Russia semifinals match-up was a shamble of injuries on both sides, as Serena and Venus Williams declined the tie citing injuries on the American side, and for the Russians Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina took a pass citing injuries, although Safina and Kuznetsova are playing this week in Stuttgart. Russians Vera Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova reportedly said ‘no’ to playing, and Russian captain Shamil Tarpischev reportedly had to strong-arm Dementieva to play.

The outlook for the Americans against the high-powered Russians was bleak prior to the tie, with some tennis writers such as Tennis Magazine’s Peter Bodo writing, “I expect a disillusioned and sullen U.S. team to get waxed by a B-team of Russians this weekend…” without the Williams sister’s participation.

Now in the Nov. 6-7 final the U.S. will host Italy, which blitzed the Czech Republic 5-0, and returns to the Fed Cup final for the fourth time in the last five years.

“It’s difficult for every team in the world [to beat us],” said Italian Fed Cup captain and former ATP player Corrado Barazzutti.

Last year the Italian team of Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone defeated the U.S. for the first time in 10 meetings in the final on clay in Italy.

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20 Comments for U.S. Comes From Behind to Defeat Russia, Gain Fed Cup Final

blah Says:

tell the willams sisters to stay off the team for the final…

Von Says:

thank you staff for finally honoring our US Fed cup team with an article. I suppose better late than never. It was a very well played tie.

YAHOO!!! Great win for USA v. Russia.

3Stars Says:

I agree with blah.

Jim Says:

Kuznetsova and Tarpischev don’t exactly get along, so her giving Fed Cup a pass isn’t at all surprising.

Lisa Says:

Considering that Zina Garrison had the best talent that the US has ever produced and still couldn’t win, the USTA made the best decision to dump her.
Look what MJF has done with an up-and-coming and Red,White & blue bleeding team. She’s in the finals for the second time in a row.
This was a great afternoon of tennis.
Our US squad rivals the Italian squad. What will help us win this time will be passion. They’ve had it and now we do, too.

Von Says:

“Look what MJF has done with an up-and-coming and Red,White & blue bleeding team.” Lisa

This is a typical example of how effective words can be when used to uplift others, thereby giving them positive reinforcement, and making them feel as though they are 10 feet tall …. a simple ‘you can do it’. It reminds me of what I’ve read in history with respect to World War II, wherein one author stated: “Churchill took the English language and sent it to war”. Mary Jo Fernandez has done similarly by her constant encouragement of her team. Bravo, MaryJo!!
“tell the willams sisters to stay off the team for the final…”

Even though I like the sisters very much, I have to agree, leave them out of the finals. It just wouldn’t be fair ….

funches Says:

Oh, God.

The U.S. won not because Russia couldn’t bother to send a competent second player. End of story. The Fed Cup is an embarrassment to women’s tennis because the top players refuse to play even more often than the Davis Cup guys.

I kind of like Bethany Mattek-Sands, but she has almost no chance of beating either Schiavone or Pennetta in the final. The only way the U.S. can win is for an unlikely sweep by Oudin in singles and a doubles victory.

But if either Williams sister plays, the U.S. would be a virtual lock to win. The point of competition is winning, and with tennis in particular, cameraderie is overrated. It’s an individual sport. It’s not a team sport.

funches Says:

Um, I mean the U.S. won because Russia couldn’t bother to send a competent second player. Forget the word “not” in the opening sentence. Lousy editing by me.

mmm Says:

I agree with blah. I’ll be pulling for Italy if Venus & Serena try to play the final. Of course, if they want to MJF will have to let them. But it’s a slap in the face to Oudin, Huber, and Mattek-Sands who got us into the final.

Sissi Says:

Who cares about fed cup? Vee and Serena have won it in 1999 and don’t need it to make their careers shiner: 12 and 7 grand slam titles in singles and 11 grand slams in doubles. Who says better, certainly not the so-so average players on the current team that have only fed cup to shine. Mattek-Sands? Really?
Vee and Rena, don’t play and i will be pulling for italy. No need for even doing that because italy will win.Go Pennetta and Shiavone.
All of you get a life. Fed cup is pointless, no wonder all those high ranked russians don’t want to play it anymore.Now because Venus can’t play everyone seems to remember that she went to play fed cup after winning wimbledon in 2005-7 on ONE LEG; So stop your hypocrisy

Sissi Says:

Fed cup, fed cup? you’re all whining like you even care about that; at least that hypocrite and way overrated oudin (who claims to be hyper patriotic unlike who we know, did she follow tennis when Venus jeopardized her career by playing that over injured and tired, didn’t she see Henin and Clijsters who hurt themselves to please people) can win something- even irrelevant- in her career;
i want the sisters to play that but only for their fans not for fuc*** haters because they don’t owe them a thing

MMT Says:

Neither Pennetta nor Schiavone are invincible, particularly on a surface favorable to the US, which they will have given that this year, the final is in the US.

Hats off to Mattek-Sands who had a hand in 2 points on Sunday for the US – putting in a great effort to return from winning a 3 set match in the singles to contribute to the doubles victory.

sar Says:

Tennis players Serbian Novak Djokovic (L) and Spanish Rafael Nadal watch
the Italian Serie A soccer match AS Roma vs UC Sampdoria in Rome’s
Olympic stadium, Italy, late 25 April 2010. UC Sampdoria won 2-1 and AS
Roma lost its leadership in the general standing.


sar Says:

Does anyone have order of play for Tues?

jane Says:

sar, thanks for those photos of Nole and Rafa – love them! Here is one of them from last year’s Rome trophy ceremony:


Ezorra Says:

“sar, thanks for those photos of Nole and Rafa – love them!”

Me too!!!

jane Says:

Ha Ha – look at those two; they look like they’re having fun unwinding. :)

Von Says:

Werheim’s take on the US Fed cup Team.

He also mentioned the new amount of prize money for Wimby and the difference in the amount paid to the men/women in Rome. According to him, so much for equal prize mony. ha ha


Von Says:


I know some people think Mattek-Sands’ tennis outfits are a bit weird, but that aside, I like her. I like her open-mindedness, candor and big heartedness for Fed Cup. I think that she blends very well with Liesl Huber, whose heart is the biggest I’ve seen in Fed cup recently and she enjoys playing for the USA. There’s no one more fired up than a new citizen.

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