Since the ITF took over, it's been done by rank. Even before the ITF took over, the organizers tried to lure the best from each country to contest the event.
The top player from each country is given a chance to play. If they decline, then the spot on the team may go to anyone the organizers like, not necessarily who's the next best-ranked player in the rankings. In the case of new countries, it's determined by availability. Silvia wasn't available for Italy last year due to her commitments on the Gold Coast, but Francesca was. The following year was always going to be up to the rankings, no matter what.
In the case of Serena and Monica, the organizers were in a quandry. Serena approached the organizers in February. Monica had earlier said that she wanted to come back. Both were told to "fight it out," so to speak. Whomever was ranked higher towards the end of the year would be offered the position. Serena was obviously then given first "dibs."
In the case of Karina and Henrieta, the Slovakians won the event in 1998 with Karina and Karol. Karina automatically got the invite to return as defending champion. So when Slovakia returned for a third consecutive appearance, the spot in the team was to be decided by ranking. Henrieta won out.
" The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle "
" When you're not training, someone else is training... TO KICK YOUR ASS! "
" It's not the size of the dog in a fight, but the size of the fight in a dog. "
You Crazy Bitches Rock 2003:
Jelena Dokic - Kim Clijsters - Anna Kournikova - Francesca Schiavone - Ashley Harkleroad - Dinara Safina - Alicia Molik
You Dirty Bastards Rule 2003:
Marat Safin - Lleyton Hewitt - Andy Roddick - Nicolas Kiefer - Olivier Rochus - Tommy Robredo - Mikhail Youzhny
7 February 2003 : Best of Luck in Retirement MARTINA HINGIS!