Posts Tagged ‘2010 Fed Cup


Monfils puts France ahead in Davis Cup final.

Gael Monfils gave France the early advantage in their Davis Cup final against Serbia in Belgrade with a commanding victory over an erratic Janko Tipsarevic in the opening rubber. The Frenchman, ranked 12th in the world, 37 places above his opponent, claimed a 6-1 7-6 (7/4) 6-0 success in two hours and five minutes. Monfils dominated on serve, saving the only two break points he faced while converting six of his own, as he proved far too powerful for the Serbian. After a nightmare first set in which the occasion seemed to get to him, Tipsarevic seemed to have found his form in the second but, having lost it on a tie-break, capitulated in the third to give Monfils the simplest of tasks to close out the match.

Tipsarevic, chosen for the singles ahead of the higher-ranked Viktor Troicki, looked nervous from the outset, two double-faults in the first two points of the match giving Monfils an immediate break. The Frenchman held his serve with ease to consolidate the break before Tipsarevic got on the board. Monfils was picking the Serbian off comfortably, particularly with his powerful forehand, hitting a booming cross-court winner on the way to moving 3-1 up and then two expert passing shots to break for a second time.

The 24-year-old held for 5-1 and, although Tipsarevic saved two set points in the seventh game, still broke again to take the set. Tipsarevic ended a run of five straight Monfils games by holding to make it 1-1 in the second set and appeared to be gaining in confidence as he held to love to make it 2-2. A couple of big serves gave the Frenchman the advantage again, but it looked like he might be struggling with a cold, having to blow his nose in between points. His tennis was not suffering, though, and, having saved a break point when Tipsarevic netted with a drop volley at the net, produced a glorious drop shot of his own to go 4-3 in front. The Serbian continued to hold well to take the set into a tie-break, but lost his cool early on with the umpire after he was ordered to take a second serve rather than replay the point following and incorrect line call and Monfils went on to take the set. Tipsarevic was rattled and Monfils broke at the third time of asking in the opening game of the third set before firing down three successive aces to go 2-0 up. Another break and hold put the Frenchman 4-0 in front and all but home and dry and, with his opponent’s focus gone, he duly clinched the next two games to finish the match in style.


Italy repeats as Fed Cup Champions of 2010.

Italy retained their Fed Cup title as Flavia Pennetta beat Coco Vandeweghe of the United States 6-1 6-2 in San Diego to clinch the match. Down 2-0 from the first day’s singles, the USA stayed alive in the contest when Melanie Oudin beat Francesca Schiavone 6-3 6-1. But teenager Vandeweghe had little to offer against Pennetta and she strolled to victory to give Italy their third title in five years. “It never changes, it’s still the same feeling,” Pennetta told Sky Sports 3. “It’s really exciting. It’s going to be with you all your life. It’s really nice. “It’s amazing to win a match like this. I am very happy, the team is very happy.” Pennetta was actually a break down early on as she made a sluggish start with a double fault from the world number 23 handing her opponent the game. But the Italian fought back from 40-0 down in game two and eventually broke back after seven deuces. That proved to be a pivotal moment as Pennetta romped through the set, taking it 6-1.

A break for Pennetta in the first game of the second set was the last thing 18-year-old Vandeweghe needed and, though she subsequently held a couple of service games to give the home fans something to shout about, the result was never in doubt. Pennetta added: “I was feeling really good on the court, I was focused on my game. “Yesterday was difficult and I just tried to enjoy it a bit more.”

Earlier, Oudin, playing in place of Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who lost against Pennetta yesterday, stunned French Open champion Schiavone with a gutsy performance. The players traded breaks early in the first, but Schiavone, ranked seventh in the world, fell apart in the second half of the set and never recovered as Oudin bravely went for her shots.


Italy set to repeat as Fed Cup Champions.

Italy dominated the opening day of the Fed Cup final against the United States and require just one win on Sunday to retain their title. French Open champion Francesca Schiavone eased past 18-year-old world number 114 Coco Vandeweghe 6-2 6-4 in the opening rubber in San Diego. Flavia Pennetta then saved a set point before defeating American number one Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7-6 6-2. The reverse singles and the doubles rubbers are scheduled for Sunday.

Mattek-Sands will face Schiavone before Vandeweghe takes on Pennetta, and the Americans will need to win both those matches if the concluding doubles between Liezel Huber and Melanie Oudin and Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci is to be a live match. However, the line-ups could yet change after Mattek-Sands suffered from leg cramps. “I’m very happy because they played with heart and they won two important matches,” said Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti. “So we are 2-0 up but it is not finished, the match. We have to stay focused for tomorrow.”

US captain Mary Joe Fernandez said: “Hopefully I’ll come up with a real good pep talk. It’s about not so much the outcome but the process, how you play the game, how you’re playing your points, controlling what’s in your power. “If they do that, that’s all I can ask for.”


Oudin relegated to doubles by captain by Captain Fernandez?

Teenager Coco Vandeweghe will kick off the Fed Cup final for the USA with a singles match against Francesca Schiavone. The 19-year-old, ranked 114th in the world, will open things up against World No 7 Schiavone as the US look to take Italy’s title. Bethanie Mattek-Sands will follow the youngster onto court as she faces Flavia Pennetta in the second singles rubber of the opening day. Schiavone will then face Mattek-Sands in Sunday’s first rubber before Vandeweghe meets Pennetta and the doubles encounter of Liezel Huber and Melanie Oudin v Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci concludes the match.

Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti is confident his team can stage a successful defence of their title. In a repeat of the 2009 final, the Italians will be aiming to claim their third Fed Cup crown in five years against a US side who have not lifted the trophy since 2000. The United States suffered a humiliating 4-0 whitewash in last year’s showpiece in Reggio Calabria, but hold home advantage this time around with the contest taking place in San Diego. Yet Barazzutti does not think that will work against his Italy team once the contest gets under way. “The victory in 2006 was the first Fed Cup in our history, and last year’s success was confirmation this is the best team in the world,” he said. “Not only that, this team has grown individually. Schiavone won at Roland Garros and is firmly established in the top 10, Flavia Pennetta claimed doubles success at the prestigious Masters event in Doha, Roberta Vinci recently won a tournament while Sara Errani has confirmed herself as a consistent solid player. “To establish yourself in a sport is the hardest thing, but they have done it.”

The United States will start as underdogs in the absence of the injured Williams sisters. It will be a tall order for a team in which Mattek-Sands, at number 58, is the highest-ranked player, but captain Mary Jo Fernandez has warned against writing them off. “You don’t just sign up and say they are ranked much higher so they are going to win,” said Fernandez. “We have seen upsets in the past. They’re experienced, accomplished and are a great team, but if we execute our game plan and play well then we can win.”


USA fed Cup team has the spirit and desire to win.

In the absence of the injured Williams sisters, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Melanie Oudin will spearhead the USA’s bid to win their first Fed Cup for 10 years next month. The Americans face holders Italy in a repeat of last year’s final at the San Diego Sports Arena in California but will likely start as outsiders. Captain Mary Joe Fernandez confirmed her team on Wednesday, making one change to the one which beat Russia in the semi-finals with debutante Coco Vandeweghe replacing Sloane Stephens. However, Mattek-Sands and Oudin will likely play singles, with doubles specialist Liezel Huber also included.

Fernandez said: “Melanie, Liezel and Bethanie have repeatedly answered the call to play for their country and have together led the US to its second consecutive Fed Cup final. “We also are bringing on up-and-comer Coco, who is playing the best tennis of her young career, including a win this summer over (world number two) Vera Zvonareva. “The team is extremely motivated to try and win the Fed Cup for the US for the first time in 10 years.”

Italy name an unchanged line-up for the sixth straight tie so will again be led by French Open champion Francesca Schiavone. She will be supported by Flavia Pennetta in singles, with Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani potential doubles options for captain Corrado Barazzutti. Italy are currently on a six-match winning streak in the competition. The final takes place on an indoor hardcourt on November 6-7.


USA’s young ‘guns’ are hoping that the indoor hard court venue will be enough to give them a victory.

Italy will be hoping for a repeat result of the last year’s Final when it travels to San Diego in November as the defending Fed Cup by BNP Paribas champion. USA and Italy are meeting for the second successive year to decide the  destination of the trophy, and the visitors will draw strength from the 4-0 victory on clay in Reggio Calabria in 2009.

That was Italy’s only ever win against the Americans, with the head-to-head score now standing at 9-1. USA has home advantage this time and has selected to host the tie on an indoor hard court. History may lean towards the Americans, but recent form makes the Italians favourite. USA has battled past France and Russia in this year’s campaign, while Italy has lost just one rubber on its way to victories over Ukraine and Czech Republic. Similar to last year, both nations have experienced contrasting routes to the Final. USA has been forced to dig deep, while Italy has cruised through with the loss of just a single rubber.

USA’s first round tie against France was actually a routine affair, as Melanie Oudin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands doubled up to give the away team an unassailable 3-0 lead in Lievin. Mattek-Sands and doubles specialist Liezel Huber successfully teamed up in the fifth rubber to leave the scoreline 4-1 in favour of the visitors. The French team was a far cry from the one that lifted the trophy in 2003, but it was still a positive performance from an American side that possessed a healthy mix of youth and experience.

The reward for USA was a home tie in the semifinals against old foe Russia. The Russians had won the last three meetings between the two powerful Fed Cup nations, but revenge was around the corner for Fernandez’s team. Such is the strength in depth at the disposal of Shamil Tarpischev, Russia’s captain, he consistently has the luxury of naming his team from a pool of over a dozen Top 100 players.

Once again playing as the team’s No. 1 player in the absence of the Williams sisters, Oudin got the home side off to the perfect start. “You know what, it was a big adrenaline rush,” said Mattek-Sands, who became only the third American player ever to win successive live matches to seal victory on the final day. “I’m normally not really emotional on the court, but just playing in Fed Cup, different pressures. I was really pumped, though. I always want to win whether I’m playing singles, doubles, charades, whatever. I think we’re all pretty competitive. So I was ready to go.”


San Diego will host the 2010 Fed Cup final in November.

The 2010 Fed Cup final between the host United States and reigning champion Italy will be held at the San Diego Sports Arena in California.

The best-of-five tie will be held from November 7-8 and mark the first time the U.S. has hosted the final since 2000, when the Americans captured their record 17th title.

“We are very excited that San Diego will be hosting the 2010 Fed Cup Final,” said U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez, who has led the team to consecutive World Group finals in her first two seasons as the skipper. “The area always has been supportive of women’s tennis. We look forward to playing in front of a large, enthusiastic, and patriotic crowd and hope to use the home-court advantage as we try to bring the Fed Cup title back to the U.S.”

This will be the second consecutive Fed Cup final between the U.S. and Italy, which hopes to be led by French Open champion Francesca Schiavone. The Americans are 9-1 all-time versus Italy, but the Italians prevailed 4-0 in last year’s finale in Reggio Calabria.

The two-time champion Italians are in the Fed Cup final for the fourth time in five years. They captured their first-ever title in 2006.


The USTA should announce the Fed Cup final team right now and not wait until November!

In a repeat of last year’s Final, Team USA will face Italy, the defending champions, but this time around the American squad will play host for the end of year finale in November.

The Italian team, barring injuries, will be the same one that won in 2009, and the same one that has reached the 2010 final. It would be great to think that the USA team would also consisit of those players who played their hearts out to reach the 2010 final. What a wonderful sportsman-like gesture it would be for Serena and Venus to contact the USTA and advise them that they are not available to play in Novemebr, and that Mary Joe Fernandez should go with the team that reached the final. But then I’m naive enough to believe in miracles!

How can the selection comittee ignore the efforts of Mattek-Sands, Oudin or Huber, and leave any one of  them off the team in November?

It had always been Liezel Huber’s dream scenario to play a live doubles rubber during Fed Cup action.

The No. 1 doubles player in the world was granted her wish at the Fed Cup semifinal against Russia on Sunday, teaming with Bethanie Mattek-Sands to bring home the 3-2 victory and a second straight Fed Cup Final berth.


Italy waits for the winner of the USA/Russia tie.

Reigning champions Italy eased into the Fed Cup final with a 5-0 whitewash of the Czech Republic in Rome.

Having led 2-0 overnight, Italy took an unassailable lead when Flavia Pennetta beat Petra Kvitova 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

Sara Errani defeated Lucie Hradecka 6-4 6-2 before Errani and Francesca Schiavone beat Lucie Hradecka and Kveta Peschke 6-2, 6-4 to complete the rout.

Russia lead the United States 2-1 in the other semi after Elena Dementieva beat Melanie Oudin 7-6 (7-4) 0-6 6-3.

Neither player held serve for the first 10 games of the match before an error-strewn first set went into a tiebreak which Dementieva clinched after winning the last four points.

Oudin, 18, then raised her level, breaking the erratic Russian in the first, third and fifth games of the second set to level the match.

Although Dementieva was again broken in the third game of the final set to trail 1-2, she won the next four games before sealing victory when Oudin hit a forehand long.


Oudin in a ‘must win’ situation today!

Melanie Oudin begins USA’s quest to reach a second successive Final, as she faces Alla Kudryavtseva in the opening rubber of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas semifinal in Birmingham, Alabama.

Oudin, who adopts the role as American No. 1 in the absence of the Williams sisters, is ranked nearly 50 places higher than her Russian opponent.

Despite this gap in the world standings, however, the only previous meeting between the two players – coming earlier this year at the Australian Open – ended in a three-set victory for Kudryavtseva.

Dementieva is carrying the weak Russian team on her back, and must win both her singles matches for Russia to have any chance at all. The US has the best doubles team, and needs 2 singles victories to reach the final.

The second rubber sees Bethanie Mattek-Sands take on Elena Dementieva, the world No. 6, in a real ‘David v Goliath’ clash. Mattek-Sands will take confidence from her win over Alize Cornet of France in February’s first round, but playing Dementieva will bring about a completely different challenge.

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