Capriati, Davenport, Williams Sisters Will Not Play Fed Cup
Lindsay Davenport By Richard Pagliaro
Five of the top 10 women in the world are American, but four of them have declined to represent the United States in the Fed Cup final. Tennis Week has learned that top-ranked Jennifer Capriati, third-ranked Lindsay Davenport, fourth-ranked Venus Williams and ninth-ranked Serena Williams have declined to play the Fed Cup final, which will be staged November 7-11th.
A year ago, the American team of Davenport, Monica Seles, Lisa Raymond and Capriati beat Belgium in the semifinals before sweeping Spain in the final, 5-0, to earn its 17th Fed Cup championship in 38 years. In the final, Capriati teamed with Raymond to defeat the Spanish doubles duo of Virginia Ruano-Pascual and Magui Serna, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Capriati also scored a 6-1, 1-0 victory over Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, who retired with gastroenteritis in the second set.
The Williams sisters did not play Fed Cup last year though they did represent the U.S. at the Olympics where Venus won the gold medal in singles and teamed with sister Serena to strike gold in doubles.
Davenport was been one of the world's dominant Fed Cup players in recent years. The third-ranked Davenport has produced a 21-2 record in her seven-year Fed Cup career and helped carry the team to victory last year with singles wins over Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez in the final. Sidelined by injuries earlier in the year, Davenport's decision to forgo the final may be due to the fact that the event will most likely be held on red clay — her least favorite surface.
The absence of the foursome leaves U.S. captain Billie Jean King with the prospect of building her team around the resurgent Monica Seles, who captured her third straight title on Sunday with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Australian Nicole Pratt in the final of the Kiwi Open. It was the 51st title of Seles career. The eighth-ranked Seles has always answered the call to play Fed Cup when healthy in the past. In an interview prior to the U.S. Open, Seles was asked if she planned to play Fed Cup and she replied: "I've always loved to play Fed Cup and play for Billie Jean King. It's an honor to play for your country and I would like to play if I were asked."
Meghann Shaughnessy, ranked 12th, could complement Seles as another singles player on the U.S. squad. Though Shaughnessy was upset by Spain's Magui Serna 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Filderstadt, Germany last week, she is enjoying the best year of her career. With a strong serve and effective forehand, Shaughnessy's game is better suited to fast surfaces, but her speed and court coverage make her a capable clay court player.
Raymond, ranked No. 1 in doubles and No. 30 in singles, could reprise her role as a doubles player on the U.S. team. After Raymond, the highest-ranked Americans are Chanda Rubin (No. 36), Amy Frazier (No. 41) and Meileen Tu (No. 49). Rubin has struggled with nagging injuries this year, while Frazier has not participated in Fed Cup in recent years.
Oct 15th, 2001, 08:14 PM
I posted a few weeks back on if a Fed Cup team of Raymond, Frazier, Shaugnessy and someone could win Fed Cup. How unpleasant to have to find out.
Oct 15th, 2001, 08:14 PM
This is a true value of new American patriotism, everybody is ready to wave flags with no commitment under that, but when it comes to really doing something for your country, well, it is always comes to Seles.
Oct 15th, 2001, 08:28 PM
<IMG SRC="smilies/eek.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/firey.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/freaked.gif" border="0"> = Billie Jean King
Oct 15th, 2001, 09:03 PM
While I am disappointed that the top guns have declined I totally understand. Come on, the friggin season is already so long as it is. By then everyone just wants to stay home and relax.... I take my hat off to Seles, but why compare her to the others???
Oct 15th, 2001, 09:10 PM
honestly i'm happy Lindsay doesnt play cos she isnt good on clay and she doesnt like play on clay courts.plus she is very tired after a long season so i want she rests!! <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
Oct 15th, 2001, 09:12 PM
I think they're pissed because they moved the festivities to Spain, for the week, and I don't blame them one bit.
VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Oct 15th, 2001, 09:16 PM
ys, they are not playing because they were told the Fed Cup would be in the USA again as we are defending champions.
It's not fair to move it to USA's biggest rival in recent years and on our worst surface. Sure, we have the best squad (if the top players play) so we deserve some advantages.
Oct 15th, 2001, 10:02 PM
I disagree that just cause the US has potentially the best squad, that they should get speacial privillages...every country should be given equal rights.
Anyhow... I don't really have an opinion on them dropping out cause I don't totally understand the circumstances. So the defending champs are supposed to have the tie on their home turf, but the ITF changed that? For what reason did they do that?
Volcanca: I remember your thread from a few days back about the fed cup team, which reminded me to post this as soon as I saw it. I figured it would be of interest to you, and whoever else was pondering about Davis Cup in that thread.
Oct 15th, 2001, 10:19 PM
What a crap.. So because they are champions, they want to defend it on their own terms? It has always been a tradition of Davis Cup and Fed Cup, that if two teams are playing again, then the team that travelled last time plays it home this time. It has ALWAYS been like that. So the last final was USA-Spain in USA, so that's only logical and in full tradition with FED Cup and DC that the next final goes to Spain. But you know what?
Davenport and Williamsx2 don't want to travel in Europe to play on clay for their country? Is it somehing new? Or has it also ALWAYS been like that? Bloody Aussies are putting every single travelling team of DC cup or Fed cup
on potato fields, no one is happy, but everone plays. Brazil hates grass, yet they go there and play and lose. But this year they again play Aussies, they play them on clay this time and they lose again. That's how it works in sport. You go and play. And these sissy primadonnas don't want to do that? Who cares about their excuses.. What Seles deserves a great respect for is that she'd play on ice if her country would need that.
[ October 15, 2001: Message edited by: ys ]
Oct 15th, 2001, 10:25 PM
How disappointing!!!!! <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0">
IMHO, the venue should be the home of the defending champion. <IMG SRC="smilies/talk.gif" border="0">
[ October 16, 2001: Message edited by: GoSandrine ]
Oct 15th, 2001, 10:35 PM
This is extremley interesting news. Serena at the US Open, after one of her mathces, she said she would play Fed Cup, Billie just had to tell her when and where.
I think though, this balances the field for Fed Cup tremendously and it will be interesting to see which country will come out on top.
It'll be a good opportunity to see if the Belgians can live up to the expectations, can Spain take the title in front of the home crowd, and which new countries will show new found dominance?
Oct 15th, 2001, 10:40 PM
its a good oppurtunity for other players. besides, america is so not deserving to win again.
" youre gonna die for your government, die for your country like shit"
Oct 16th, 2001, 09:14 AM
Whoo Hoo!!! Ok I'm being positive about this because if Australia makes it to the finals then we wont have to play "those" players. THERE'S HOPE!!!!!
The point is that the US were promised the the finals would be held in the US, and the US would get to choose the surface when they won the Fed Cup last year. But the IFT changed their minds this year, no wonder the players are fed-up about the Fed-Cup. No wonder they refuse to play.
Oct 16th, 2001, 09:36 AM
I agree with GoMonica, Bille Jean is bad, she always put Monica at the last <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> and Seles again shows she is a great person, finally ys and I agree on the same thing <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">
Oct 16th, 2001, 11:18 AM
Another profound post from NejedlyKanepi....what the f***??? <IMG SRC="smilies/confused.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/rolleyes.gif" border="0">
Oct 16th, 2001, 11:37 AM
NejedlyKanepi - Just go away.
Oct 16th, 2001, 11:53 AM
I don't agree with the fact that if a country wins a year, the Fed Cup final should be played in that country, with the current system.
One thing is if two teams have to play different ties (and in different countries) to reach the final. So, in that case, when these two teams reach the final...well, it's normal that they play the final in one of those countries, but if the teams don't have to play previous rounds, I think it's fair to change the places.
I'm Spanish and for me it's great that the Fed Cup is played in Spain, but if Spain would win, I think it would be fair to play next year in Belgium, Czech Republic or so...just change the countries. Besides, the ITF said the final would be played in one of the four following countries: USA, Spain, Belgium or Czech Republic...that's nothing new, so I don't understand why everyone seems to be so surprised that it's played in Spain....
Oct 16th, 2001, 01:55 PM
I think that the players are still trying to limit their traveling schedules. Before Sep. 11th, and USA going to war, I'm sure most of the top women were going to play. If they were promised that Fed Cup would be in US, then find that they'd have to travle to another country in a time like this, then it's understandable that they would decline. I wouldn't be so quick to leave home either, if it were not neccesary.
Oct 16th, 2001, 02:20 PM
The big beef the top players had was that the ITF reneged on their promise. They said that the winning country would host. Then changed it. Apparently, the top Americans felt this was done deliberately for the purpose of hindering their chances and favoring their opponents.
The USTA certainly didn't help matters when, last year, for the second time in a few years, they awarded the Fed Cup final to a Casino, and for the second time, the staging of the event was pitiful. Plus, the USTA doesn't support the Fed Cup like they do Davis Cup. Fed Cup doesn't get the same amount of support personnel, and the USTA doesn't buy up 10,000 tickets for each home Fed Cup tie like they do Davis Cup. (Remember how some of those US Davis Cup ties sold out so quickly, despite none of the onsite ticket vendors selling a single ticket?)
The good news is, next year sees the return of the home and away single nation battles, å la Davis Cup, which have been so successful before. It's only the final four which will be held at one site. To make that fair, the ITF should stipulate now that there will be a rotation system for the finals, with the countries that hosted a final most distantly getting first dibs.
On the subject of the US team, an article on the Tennis Reporters site stated that Shaughnessy had a long-running feud with the USTA, and refuses to play for them. That would complicate BJ's life even more. With Shaughnessy, the team would probably be Seles, Shaughnessy, Rubin and Raymond, with the latter 2 in doubles. If Meg's out of the picture, Chanda would be bumped up to singles, but who would be the #4 player? Frazier still hasn't travelled yet. Tu?
Oct 16th, 2001, 06:55 PM
what should we believe???
Read this article!!!!
Tennis-Williams sisters may not play in Fed Cup finals
By John Phillips
NEW YORK, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Sisters Venus and Serena Williams look doubtful for the United States team for next month's Fed Cup finals in Spain.
"It is a question mark concerning Venus and Serena for the Fed Cup," Julie Kachner, a spokesperson for IMG, the management company representing the sisters, told Reuters on Tuesday.
Kachner said that both Venus, the Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, and Serena would play a tournament in Munich later this month.
Kachner initially said the sisters "are not on the Fed Cup team" and that the decision not to play in the November 7-11 tournament in Madrid was "mutual."
But later she hedged, saying: "I don't believe they're on it.
"They did not play (other tournaments) specifically because of the terrorist threat and feeling uncomfortable about flying and being in Europe. Obviously, they're two very high profile individuals and they don't want to be in any dangerous situations," Kachner added.
Last week, Serena, who lost the U.S. Open final to Venus in September, withdrew from the current Swisscom Challenge tournament in Zurich.
"I still feel a strong need to stay close to home and my family in the wake of the events of the past month," Serena said.
U.S. Fed Cup captain Billie Jean King is expected to announce the members of the team at the end of this month.
Asked if the sisters would play in the Fed Cup, Bruce Levy, USTA assistant director of communications, said: "I have not heard anything official."
Levy said the composition of the team did not have to be announced until 10 days before the tournament.
The Williams sisters, citing ailments and college studies did not play in the Fed Cup final in Las Vegas last year.
The United States, with a team comprising Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati and Lisa Raymond, successfully defended the title, winning a record 17th Fed Cup.
After the U.S. won last year, Davenport was quoted in USA Today as saying: "This is my third time on a winning team, and the whole week we all had a lot of fun. It's very nice to win, especially without the Williamses. It definitely made it a little bit harder without them here."
For this year's Fed Cup, the top-seeded U.S. team have been drawn in group A, which also includes third seeds France, Czech Republic and Argentina.
Group B includes second-seeded Belgium, fourth seeds Spain, Russia and Australia.
The finals will use a round-robin format between the two groups.
Oct 16th, 2001, 07:17 PM
That article seems to say essentially what the first article said. The only difference is in the first article it was for sure, and in the second, it was alledgedly said.
Either way, it looks like the top 3 American women, and Serena, won't be playing.
Oct 16th, 2001, 10:13 PM
I personally don't have a problem with the other players getting a chance to play Fed Cup regardless of how this came about. We can't ALWAYS rely on the Big Babes for everything. The ATP learnt this lesson the hard way. BJK is not so foolish as to keep counting on the same handful of players time after time. I'm glad that the others are getting a chance to play and I hope they do like the young guys did and also win!
Oct 17th, 2001, 12:26 AM
Whoevers on the American team I'm sure they'll play with lots of emotion in light of recent incidents and I hope they win the whole kitten caboodle (did I spell that right???) <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">
Ideally it would be great if Sandrine wins all her matches but the Americans win the Cup.