I think they just wanted to give some new teams a go. I understand that. But I thought that since the event was ITF sanctioned, that they were going to try and field the best players from each country. In fact, Greece is only one of few teams to have fielded their best players. The others were Australia and Belgium.
The US are without Capriati and Agassi (I wonder if he has ever been asked. What a huge drawcard that team would have been. And what a thrill it would be for Perth fans to see Agassi play mixed.) Capriati was asked once to play with John McEnroe, but then Mac pulled out injured and Capriati decided to delay her comeback. They were replaced by Ivan Lendl and Mary Joe Fernandez that year. Seles is a good sub, and I guess out of loyalty, so is Gambill. I thought Andy Roddick and Capriati would've been awesome together. Perhaps next time.
Spain has Arantxa, but is without either Juan Carlos Ferrero (who is probably playing in Qatar) or Alex Corretja (same reason). Tommy Robredo is a good sub though. He's new and potentially one of the next best Spanish players. Carlos Moya probably won't return since he always seems to get sick when he comes to Perth.
France are without Grosjean and Mauresmo. Clement is a good sub for Sebastien, but I would have thought Sandrine might've accepted an invite since she only has 1 point to defend that week in Auckland. Razzano might be a good player, but she is much further down the list.
Argentina have Paola Suarez, but is without Guillermo Canas. But I think Coria is a good sub. He's awesome. I've never seen Canas play. I've seen Coria play on TV at Wimbledon and at Monte Carlo. He looks a bit like a cross between Moya and Malisse.
The defending champs, Switzerland, has Federer back on side but are without Hingis. I assume she pulled out shortly after getting injured. Otherwise, I'm sure she would've liked to return. Vavrinec was probably the only available Swiss player. I assume Schnyder and Gagliardi had already made other commitments by then, so Vavrinec was next on the list. But she's officially the lowest ranked female player in the event this year.
Italy haven't played since being the invited but non-playing alternates at the start of the 1996 event. That time, Silvia Farina and Diego Nargiso were in Perth to practice and sub for any ailing teams. They never got a chance to play. The last time the Italians played was Hopman Cup III - ages ago. Schiavone is a good sub for Grande (who I think has points to defend in Auckland) and Farina-Elia (who is retiring). Sanguinetti is the highest ranked Italian male.
I'm bummed that there was no Russian team this year. Imagine a Kaflenikov and Dementieva team. Or even a Safin and Kournikova team. Or whichever combination of those four players. Tickets would've been sold out in less than 2 seconds flat.
Well, those are just some of my thoughts.
" 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!