Archive for the 'Alexa Glatch' Category


Italy wins the 2009 Fed Cup!

ITALY TENNIS FED CUPItaly is the Fed Cup champion nation for 2009. It should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed this years championship. As expected they easily defeated the young American team on their home ground, on the surface of their choice before throngs of cheering Italian fans.

The question will be raised as to whether the Williams sisters would have made a difference to the outcome, and would their inclusion on the American team given the USA a victory. We will never know the answer. In my opinion they would have also been defeated by the experienced Italians, but it might have been closer.

Without the Williams sister, and they can’t last forever, American women’s tennis is at an all time low, and tennis fans must get used to the idea that the USA cannot win as they used to do in the ‘good old days’.

Melanie Oudin, Alexa Glatch and Liezel Huber deserved to be in the final, they were the ones who were responsible for the team reaching the final, and the experience they gained in Italy was invaluable. They have formed a camaraderie that can only benefit them in the future, and make them into better players and competitors. Representing their country in a hostile environment, with only a handful of friendly faces in the crowd, on a cold wet weekend far away from home is an experience they will learn from and never forget.

Reaching the final, being the second best nation is not all bad! These young women deserve to be recognized for their gutsy effort and should be given a victory parade when they come home, but I can guarantee they won’t receive one!


The US hopes are riding on Alexa Glatch.

glatchAlexa Glatch holds the key to the success of the USA Fed Cup team when they meet tomorrow on the red clay in Italy. She has proved that she is a big game player, and relishes the pressure of playing against the top players. But more importantly she has shown that she is quite at home on clay. At just over 6′ tall she towers over her two diminutive team mates Oudin and King, and in her play she can serve with the best on the tour. 

She made her Fed Cup debut in April in the semifinals against the Czech Republic. As a rookie, she was dubbed the MVP for almost single handidly keeping the US alive by pulling off upset wins in both of her singles matches against No. 29 Iveta Benesova and No. 48 Petra Kvitova in dominating, straight sets fashion. Her team won the deciding doubles match and the U.S. will have a chance to take home the Fed Cup Championship Trophy for the first time since 2000.

In May, Alexa made her French Open red clay debut by crushing the 14th-seeded Italian clay court specialist Flavia Pennetta 6-1, 6-1 in the first round. To date this is the biggest win in her career.

Italy’s No. 2 player, Francesca Schiavone, will face U.S. Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin in the second singles match Saturday on the clay courts at the Rocco Polimeni club.

Schiavone and the 18-year-old Oudin have also met once before, with Schiavone winning 6-1, 6-1 in Indian Wells, Calif., last year.

Saturday 7 November – 11:00 start (10:00 GMT)

Flavia Pennetta (ITA) v Alexa Glatch (USA)

Francesca Schiavone (ITA) v Melanie Oudin (USA)

Sunday 8 November – 11:00 start (10:00 GMT)

Flavia Pennetta (ITA) v Melanie Oudin (USA)

Francesca Schiavone (ITA) v Alexa Glatch (USA)

Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci (ITA) v Liezel Huber/Vania King (USA)


USA’s 2009 Fed Cup team.

oudin 2glatch 3king 4huber

Melanie Oudin

Oudin burst onto the world scene at the US Open in September when she reached the quarterfinals, losing to Caroline Wozniacki. However, the 18-year-old had caught the eye of most tennis followers long before.

Oudin enjoyed a successful junior career and began to play her first senior tournaments in 2006. With three $50k victories under her belt, she came through qualifying to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon before making her run to the last eight at Flushing Meadows.

In Fed Cup play, Oudin made her debut against Argentina in this year’s first round. Having lost her opening rubber, she fought back to defeat Betina Jozami in three sets, providing USA with the platform to progress in the decisive doubles match. She was also a non-playing member of the team in the semifinals.

Alexa Glatch

Glatch played her first Fed Cup tie in the semifinals against Czech Republic and made more than an impressive debut. She comfortably defeated Iveta Benesova and Petra Kvitova in her two singles rubbers, dropping just six games.

The 20 year-old from California is currently ranked No. 132 in the world and is USA’s No. 10. She reached her career high ranking of No. 102 in August.

As an individual, Glatch hasn’t enjoyed the best form of late. In fact, she hasn’t reached the second round of a tournament since June at the AEGON Classic in Edgbaston, part of the British grass court season.

Vania King

King was called in to the American team following the withdrawal of Serena Williams, who was competing at the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha.

The 20-year-old made her debut against Germany in 2006 and has played in five ties, compiling a win-loss record of 4-5. She is currently ranked No. 78 in the world and has won one career singles title.

King, however, has enjoyed more success on the doubles court. She has seven tournament victories to her name, including wins in Brisbane and New York in 2009, and also finished runner-up in the mixed doubles at this year’s Roland Garros.

Liezel Huber

Huber, a doubles specialist, is the top ranked doubles player in the world. Teaming up with various partners down the years, but with Cara Black of late, she has won 39 career titles including four at Grand Slam events.

Huber began her Fed Cup career representing South Africa in 1998. However, in 2007, she became an American citizen and has now played in USA’s last three ties.

Mary Joe Fernandez, USA’s captain, has described Huber as ‘unquestionably our team leader’. In this year’s Fed Cup campaign, she has won the decisive doubles rubber in both rounds.


US Fed Cup team blends new and old.

serena 1oudin 2glatch_200

Serena Williams is back on the U.S. Fed Cup team for the first time since 2007.

Surprise U.S. Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin is also on the roster announced Tuesday by the U.S. Tennis Association for the Nov. 7-8 final against host Italy.

Williams leads active women with 11 Grand Slam singles titles and is 4-0 in Fed Cup singles matches over her career. Her sister Venus is not on the team.

Top-ranked doubles player Liezel Huber and Alexa Glatch round out the roster.

U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez says she strongly believes her team can win the Fed Cup title, something the country hasn’t done since 2000.

Italy could reach top spot in the ITF Fed Cup Nations Ranking for the first time in the country’s history.

If Italy triumphs over USA in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final, being held in Reggio Calabria on 7-8 November, it will over take Russia, the reigning champion and current No. 1.

Italy defeated Russia 4-1 in April’s semifinals, a victory that was inspired by Francesca Schiavone’s superb three sets win over Svetlana Kuznetsova, who clinched the title at Roland Garros just a few weeks later.

On the other hand, if USA is victorious – which would be its 18th title – it will leapfrog Italy into second place, with Russia remaining top.


Melanie Oudin fails to qualify at China Open.

alexa glatchMelanie Oudin, the recent darling of American tennis, failed to qualify for the main draw of the 2009 China Open on Friday.

  Oudin, 18, fell in three sets (6-2, 5-7, 3-6) to fellow American Alexa Glatch. This was the first time since May that Oudin failed to qualify for an event in which she was participating. She fell in the qualifying rounds of the French Open.

  Oudin came into the 2009 China Open at No. 42. She rose in the ranks after her dream breakthrough at the U.S. Open in August where she toppled Elena Dementieva, Nadia Petrova and Maria Sharapova.

  At the Beijing tournament on Friday, she dropped two games in the first set before hitting her stride and taking the set 6-2. Glatch, No. 115, was only able to break Oudin once in the first set, but combined for seven more breaks in the following two sets.

  Midway through the second set, Oudin seemed frustrated with her playing, often shouting “Come on!” to pump herself up. Glatch, in comparison, appeared calm and patient, never showing much emotion on the court.

  Glatch closed the match before a crowd that spilled out into the promenade, standing along the sides of the court, watching the upset. Glatch progresses to the second round of the qualifiers on Saturday.


Alexa Glatch has nothing to lose against Serena.

alexa glatchAlexa Glatch is the first round opponent for Serena Williams. A daunting task for any player, but the kind of challenge that brings out the best in this young American player. Just look at her recent record against players ranked much higher than she is. She almost single handidly won the Fed Cup semi final for the USA team, which indicates that she enjoys playing under pressure. If Serena takes her lightly, or as is her fashion she plays way below her standard for the first week of a Grand Slam, the defending champion will find herself sitting in the locker room on Monday night trying to figure out what went wrong.

In 2009, Alexa has 5 wins over Top 50 players and is 2-0 in Fed Cup competition.

She reached the third round of the Premier $4.5 Million Indian Wells WTA Tour Event as a wildcard; one of her wins was against World No. 29 Carla Suarez Navarro. At the Premier WTA Tour Event in Miami, Alexa advanced to the 2nd round before losing to #1 seed Serena Williams 6-2, 6-3. She made her Fed Cup debut in April in the semifinals against the Czech Republic. As a rookie, she was dubbed the MVP for keeping the US alive by pulling off upset wins in both of her singles matches against No. 29 Iveta Benesova and No. 48 Petra Kvitova in dominating, straight sets fashion. Her team won the deciding doubles match and the U.S. will have a chance to take home the Fed Cup Championship Trophy for the first time since 2000 when they compete against Italy in the finals in November.

In May, Alexa made her French Open red clay debut by crushing the 14th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-1, 6-1 in the first round. To date this is the biggest win in her career.


Alexa Glatch deserves to be on the US Fed Cup team!

glatch 3

Seventeen-time champion USA is in the final for the first time since 2003. It reached the last stage thanks to a stunning debut from Alexa Glatch, which saw her upset two higher-ranked players and a stirring fightback from Liezel Huber and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the deciding doubles against Czech Republic in the semifinal. Captain Mary Joe Fernandez needs to do the ‘right’ thing and keep the team that put the US into the final together for the final against Italy. The Williams sisters, who refused to represent their country in the qurter and semi finals, should not be considered for the Fed Cup team. 

Italy has never defeated USA in Fed Cup, losing all nine previous meetings between the two nations. The last time they met was in the 2003 quarterfinal in Washington, where USA ran out 5-0 victors.

The ITF has announced that Circolo del Tennis “Rocco Polimeni” in Reggio Calabria will stage the 2009 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final between Italy and USA on 7-8 November. The tie will be held outdoors on clay. The selection of the venue is subject to a successful site visit by the ITF.

Reggio Calabria is located in southern Italy and is the largest and oldest city in the region and the second oldest city in Italy overall.

Italy ended Russia’s three-year unbeaten Fed Cup record to advance to the final for the third time in four years, and its first at home. Italy won its first Fed Cup title in 2006, defeating Belgium 3-2 in a dramatic final doubles rubber to become the first team to win the Fed Cup without playing a tie at home since the home-and-away format was adopted in 1995.


Alexa Glatch shines in Paris!

_glatch_200While the top players were attracting attention in relatively easy matches, young American player Alexa Glatch, who almost single handedly carried the US Fed Cup team into the final, was showing just how good she can play by making a statement on clay against Italian #1 Flavia Pennetta. She did more than just win, she completely outplayed her opponent 6-1, 6-1. I hope Mary Joe Fernandez, the US Fed Cup captain was watching as Pennetta will be leading Italy against the US in the Cup final.

In other matches, Maria Sharapova came back from a set down to move on to the next round where she will meet Nadia Petrova.

 Venus Williams began another campaign for an elusive Roland Garros title with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 victory over Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

After struggling with her consistency and game plan in the second set, the American veteran stepped inside the court during the final set and took away her compatriot’s timing. While Mattek troubled Williams with hard counterpunching and occasional forays to the net, she is still not

experienced enough to keep up with Williams’s frequent change of tactics.

“I went for my shots. I made too many mistakes, so I lost,” Mattek said.

“Clay, I know is the only Slam Venus hasn’t won,” Mattek said. “I’m sure she’s pretty bent on winning it. I think she was playing good. She clocked a couple of big serves. That’s her strength.”

Top seed Dinara Safina, meanwhile, sent out a major statement that she is prepared to win her first Grand Slam title, destroying Britain’s Anne Keothavong 6 0, 6 0. Displaying no nerves and crushing the balls off both wings, Safina showed Keothavong no mercy, rarely making errors and coolly taking care of short balls.

“After I shook her hand she said at least you could give me one game,” said Safina, who reached the final last year. “I could imagine it’s not nice to feel on the court, but I was just so into myself. I think I was playing with my head like into the match, so I didn’t really focus [on that]. I just was playing point by point, game by game. If you start to play your game, it’s tough to handle you.”

Coming into the tournament, the 23-year-old Safina has won consecutive WTA Premier titles at Rome and Madrid, successes that have made her the Roland Garros favourite. But in her two prior appearances in Slam finals – at Roland Garros 2008 and the 2009 Australian Open – she has come up well short, punched out by Ana Ivanovic and Serena Williams. She is trying not to focus on accolades that analysts are throwing her way.


Glatch comes thru in the clutch…..

glatch-319 year old rookie Alexa Glatch breezed past Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-1, to give the USA a legitimate shot at advancing into the final of the 2009 Fed Cup. Playing more like a veteran than a rookie, Alexa fired 6 aces in a confident win over her Czech opponent. It was her second impressive win in her debut appearance in the Fed Cup giving up just a total of 6 games in her two matches. The final outcome comes down to the 5th rubber that will feature Leizel Huber of the US, and whoever Mary Joe Fernadez sends out to be her partner. Huber is the highest ranked doubles player in the field with a wealth of experience that should be enough to carry the USA to victory.

If they win they will meet the winners of the Russia/Italy tie.


Rookie Glatch raises USA chance.

_glatchRookie Alexa Glatch upset Iveta Benesova 6-1, 6-2 Saturday to give the United States a 1-1 tie with the Czech Republic after the opening singles of the Fed Cup semifinals.

Petra Kvitova defeated American Bethanie-Mattek-Sands 6-3, 7-6 (2) in the first match on the indoor hard court at Rondo Arena.

Glatch, playing her debut match for the U.S. team, dominated the first set and broke the 29th-ranked Benesova in the second and fourth game to take a commanding 5-0 lead.

“I tried to be pretty aggressive on returns,” Glatch said. “It’s key for me to be aggressive and take my chances.”

Glatch, ranked 114th, broke Benesova in the opening game of the second as the favored Czech struggled throughout the match. Glatch broke again in the seventh game and clinched the win in only 56 minutes when Benesova’s return hit the net.

Benesova, who is 3-9 in Fed Cup, said she may give up her spot for future matches.

“I’m struggling in the Fed Cup,” she said. “I play like I’m No.500, and that’s not enough.”

In the first match, Kvitova showed no sign of a recent ankle injury. She was declared fit to play on Friday.

“The ankle was not a problem,” she said. “I was just nervous at the beginning. I was trying to focus on my game and that worked.”

The 19-year-old Kvitova broke her opponent for a 3-1 lead in the first set when Mattek-Sands double-faulted, and then again in the ninth game to take the set.

The 39th-ranked Mattek-Sands, who was also making her Fed Cup debut, fought back in the second and broke Kvitova in the seventh game. But she failed to serve out the set as Kvitova rallied from 3-5 down to force a tiebreaker.

“I should have held my serve,” Mattek-Sands. “I didn’t play well today. She came with great shots and I didn’t know how to respond.”

In the tiebreaker, Kvitova relied on her solid serve to take a 5-0 lead. She improved her record to 4-1 in Fed Cup singles.

“When I leveled the score for 5-5, I knew it’s going to be a fight,” the 48th-ranked Kvitova said. “I’m glad I didn’t give it up and fought to the end.”

Reverse singles and the doubles are scheduled for Sunday. The winner of the series will face Russia or Italy in the Nov. 7-8 final.

The U.S. has won a record 17 Fed Cup titles but its last victory came in 2000.

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