Fernandez is destoying the Fed Cup’s concept.


Melanie Oudin voiced her young opinion regarding the status of American women’s tennis during an ESPN interview after her victory over Elena Dementieva. She reiterated her belief that there was a lack of camaraderie among the US players, and a feeling that some players feel that there are superior to some others. She lent her support to Christina  McHale who she hoped would do well against Maria Sharapova. She just happens to be drawn against the winner in the next round. But she sounded genuine.

She expounded her theory by referring to the Russian women who are openly supportive of their fellow countrymen even though they are competitors. The Russian women are not all buddy buddy friends, but coming from similar backgrounds and similar training schools they have established a degree of respect and admiration for their respective achievements. Their Fed Cup team, the best until 2009, does not always feature their top players, but instead is comprised of those players who played in previous matches and did well. Players are rewarded for consistency, and team spirit is predominant in the team’s composition.

The US women’s team had some camaraderie in their two rounds of play which got them into the final against Italy, maybe enough to win the coveted crown, but this team spirit will be thrown out of the window by Captain Mary Joe Fernandez when she kicks out her best young players and replaces them with the Williams sisters. Both of the sisters refused to play for their country in the earlier rounds, and are now being rewarded with the chance to be heroes, if they win.

This doesn’t sound like a recipe for building team spirit to me, nor is it fair……but then in some people’s minds winning is everything!

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