The Fed Cup tie was 2 years ago so i won't go on about it too much but I was there live for the whole tie and it was quite clear that Rodinova was not fit to play, she was horribly out of form and her movement looked affected. A captain should be able to tell this and pull the trigger on the enxt player, she honestly should of been ebnched after the first day she was that bad. The moment that always gets me is when they announced who was playing the doubles (and that Rodionova was playing) and the crowd let out the biggest groan you could imagine. Let me remind you this tie was played at a country club where the most noise you would get is a golf clap after each point.
And Pat is digging his own hole as far as I'm concerned.
Maybe they should just purchase a groanometer and dispense with the captain altogether
Seriously, one of the things that I always admired about DT as captain is that he didn't allow himself to be swayed too much by expectations of others, he trusted his own judgment. That's what a captain should do IMO, and that's precisely the point on which I have my doubts about Alicia. She's a sweetheart, and may find it difficult to take the tough and unpopular decisions a captain has to take from time to time.
Concerning the Ukraine tie, I think you're making a bit of a caricature of the last rubber. Sure, injury was a factor, but since it wasn't completely debilitating it was just one of a range of factors. Some other things they almost certainly would have taken into account:
* the last rubber was doubles, where hampered movement is less of an issue than in singles.
* Anastasia was the most experienced and accomplished doubles player in the team. That needs to be weighed against the injury, and against the lack of experience of the alternatives. Especially in a decider it's not a crazy thing to put a lot of weight on experience.
* team spirit and player confidence is important, and one of the ways DT tried to bolster that was to back his key players to come good even after a loss, and to give his less experienced players the matches with less pressure. If Rodi said she was fit enough to play, he would take her word for that.
There may well be other factors, these are just the ones that even someone with my limited knowledge and experience can come up with. So I don't think it's quite as obvious that it was a bad decision as you guys are making it out to be.
Btw, I think it's Bernie who's digging a hole. Time will tell which of us is right, until then I'm happy to agree to disagree.