By DANIEL WOOLLS
Associated Press Writer
November 3, 2002
MASPALOMAS, Canary Islands (AP) -- Slovakia beat Spain for its first Fed Cup title Sunday, with injured Spanish star Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario reduced to tears on the court by a heckler.
The Slovaks won both singles to take an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five competition, the women's version of the Davis Cup. Spain was trying for a sixth Fed Cup title.
Daniela Hantuchova beat Conchita Martinez 6-7 (8), 7-5, 6-4 and Janette Husarova downed Sanchez-Vicario 6-0, 6-2. The doubles match was canceled.
Sanchez-Vicario played her record 100th Fed Cup match, but had little mobility after straining her right thigh during Thursday's semifinal.
As the second set began, it was clear a rout was under way. A Spanish spectator screamed that Sanchez-Vicario should give way to Magui Serna if unable to play.
The crowd then started screaming at the man, with spectators telling him to leave. Sanchez-Vicario began crying on the court, pulling the collar of her shirt over her face to hide her tears. She got a standing ovation.
The crowd then started shouting her name rhythmically. Play was delayed for 10 minutes. The people in the row with the heckler left him sitting there defiantly.
Martinez and Sanchez-Vicario have appeared in the finals 10 times. The 31-year-old Sanchez-Vicario also holds Fed Cup records for the number of series played (58) and number of matches won (72).
Hantuchova, a teenager ranked eighth in the world, wore down the 30-year-old Martinez in a reverse singles match that lasted 3 hours, 20 minutes.
Martinez, the 1994 Wimbledon champion tried to offset Hantuchova's powerful forehand and quickness with slices, and the strategy worked in the first set.
In the second set, Martinez saved three set points as she served at 4-5. But Hantuchova went on to break her in the last game of the set and take it 7-5.
Martinez seemed to have nothing left in the third set, quickly falling behind 4-1, although she did draw to 5-4.
``In the end I think I was physically better than her,'' Hantuchova said.
Yes it is true that if she is injured she should have gave way to vivi (Magui is not eligible to play)
But to ghet shouted at by a man to tell her to basicaly bugger off msust have been really hard on her.
I hope she can rebound from this and team up with Dani to win the dobs title in LA next week
Nov 3rd, 2002, 07:44 PM
what an asehole:(
Nov 3rd, 2002, 07:44 PM
i was just reading the same on yahoo. this is such a shame. i do think it may have been wiser to try either Mgui or Vivi for this match, possibly saving ASV for the doubles (with Vivi or Serna, depending on what happened in their singles).
But if ASV plays, then the crowd should respect that.
Arantxa is strong, though this result will hurt a lot. How much court-time did Conchita clock up in her 5 matches these last few days. Every one seemed like 2 hours at least that i can recall.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 07:48 PM
yeah I agree
conchita is the star of the tournament in my opinion her fighting spirit is never lacking.
Too bad Arantxa is injured
But good job Dani and Janette, never faze under the pressure.
this will bring a lot of confidence to Daniela and Janette
But I am happy about the standing ovation they give to Arantxa, it just shows that spanish people love affair with those ladies will never diminish
Nov 3rd, 2002, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by MS
I've just seen on the news (I wasn't following the match, only once in a while because I was getting depressed ;))
The old man said:
"No estás en condiciones ni de jugar a la canasta"
It would be more or less (better translation, please!): you can't even play basket....
Well, there are people like this out there, It was sad to see Arantxa crying.
Okay it is confirm what the old man said.
If he said that he is an absolute moron, if I was playing I will jump to the crowd and give him a punch LOL
Nov 3rd, 2002, 07:54 PM
Although im so mad at Arantxa, she never never deserved to be insulting by anyone. Stupid man.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 07:58 PM
I don't know what the big deal is??? This is team work, if someone can't run, is injured, can't compete & can't win then they should think about the TEAM and ask someone to replace them. Also it's playing for your COUNTRY, obviously the guy wanted spain to win. Personally I would have minded my own business and not said anything, but this guy was just saying the obvious: Aranxta can't compete because she's injured, so instead of spain and the whole fed cup team losing, Aranxta could simply give her team and country a better chance to win by asking Serna to replace her.
I realize that it was not classy to say that, but it's not "insulting" like you guys are saying.
Fed cup is TEAM work after all, and I'm sure if a hockey player is injured, he would let someone else replace him.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 08:07 PM
We don;t know the whole story though, so some of you saying ASV should have given the spot to vivi aren't entirely right. For all we know the spanish captain pressured ASV to play, making her feel guilty.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 08:09 PM
I agree selesrules on the commetns about the team etc... but that man is a noone to say a legend that she is not in conditions even to play basketball. He has paid to watch tennis, not to tell players things and less in the way he did.
He made Arantxa cry, so it was not an inocent comment after all.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 08:11 PM
I agree with you selesrules in a way
but to tell a legend things like that in their own country in a tema event is stupid.
Even if it is not Fed Cup, not in arantxa own country. It is still downright rude
Nov 3rd, 2002, 08:11 PM
Well if ASV was forced to continue playing and it was a team decision, then I can understand that it was hard on her emotionally knowing that she's not at her best, and the comment from the guy must have made it harder. BUT, what the guy said was TRUE, this is team work and they should have replaced Aranxta if she's hurting and not able to compete. If a hockey player is injured, they will replace him for the sake of the team, and it wouldn't be desrespectful, actually it would be considerate towards the team... I do agree however that the man should have minded his own business as he doesn't know what the team & Aranxta are doing, it's up to them to make decisions and he should either cheer or shut up. :)
Nov 3rd, 2002, 08:11 PM
a player who did so much for the sport in spain simply doesn't deserve this!
Nov 3rd, 2002, 08:18 PM
pfffff this is ridiculous ....not fair for arantxa who has won 4 GS titles and numerous FED CUP crowns
Nov 3rd, 2002, 08:18 PM
selesrules, i also can say that a person is stupid, and maybe it's true, but it is not a nice comment to say isn't it?
Nov 3rd, 2002, 08:27 PM
I don't feel sorry for Arantxa.
I feel proud to have such a great tennis player be willing to play for my country, I feel honoured. I feel happy to see her on a tennis court. I admire and respect her.
I do feel sorry for that man though.
I feel sorry for anyone who thinks they have the right to tell Arantxa whether she's fit to play or not. I feel sorry for anyone who dares tell Arantxa she's done anything but her best on Fed Cup and tried anything but her hardest. I feel sorry because they are obviously retarded if they think such things.
Not everyone in this world gets the full deck of cards, so for those missing a few, I can only feel sorry.
Well done Arantxa, well fought.
And well done to the Slovakian team. Might this be the beginning of many great years. Specially congrats to the oldest of the two of them: Husarova :)
Nov 3rd, 2002, 10:18 PM
What an asshole! If I was there, I would have beat him up. Moron. How can someone say that to a legend? ASV definitely did not deserve that insult. It was so inappropriate.
I felt tears in my eyes when I read in the yahoo article that the crowd gave ASV a standing ovation. It was almost like a tribute to a great champion and a legendary player. May your light continue to sparkle in the tennis world Arantxa!
after all the years she's given to spanish tennis and this event.
this guy is one cold w**ker:mad:
Nov 3rd, 2002, 10:46 PM
Arantxa's record speaks for itself. You can't take away her GS wins and Fed cup victories. That guy was totally uncalled for. Arantxa has done so much for Spanish tennis and has been a credit to the tour, she does not owe this guy anything. It was not right for him to do that to her, it wasn't as if she went out to lose. But there will always be fools, I hope Arantxa can rise above it and fight through what must be a very difficult time for her.
C'mon Arantxa you can do it, because you're real fans believe in you. :)
Nov 3rd, 2002, 10:48 PM
OMG! I can't believe this..after everything Arantxa has won for her country, winning numerous titles (Fed Cup, Hopman Cup, Olympics, etc.) only to be put down by an insult!!? She always said that she loved playing for her country and in front of her home crowd, but after this..hopefully her spirit won't diminish, she has given so much for Spain! I do hope that she plays Fed Cup again next year..this time injury free and support from EVERYONE! :)
BTW, I agree Conchita was defninitely the star of this Fed Cup. Big kudos for her! :)
Nov 3rd, 2002, 10:53 PM
BTW, it might have been a little selfish of Arantxa but like what Purematter said, who knows what really happened? Every article I read before the final Captain Marguel always mentioned that Conchita and Arantxa were the stars of the Fed Cup..so maybe he did pressure Arantxa into the match knowing that she would turn this around..and also to the fact maybe Arantxa thought that it was her duty to rise to the occassion (like she always had) and she wasn't as injured as much as she thought she was. BTW, what rules couldn't let Magui play??
Nov 3rd, 2002, 11:09 PM
Nov 3rd, 2002, 11:21 PM
I felt sorry for her. such a great sportswoman doesn't deserve this!
The Slovak Repubic has won the Fed Cup Final for the first time in its history after Janette Husarova clinched the vital third point with a stunning 60 62 victory over Spain’s Fed Cup champion Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario.
The Maspalomas crowd was first stunned, then frustrated, as Sanchez-Vicaro failed to make an impression on the Slovak No. 2. Playing in her 100th Fed Cup match and 58th tie – both records – the 30-year-old Spaniard was completely outplayed by her less experienced opponent.
In complete contrast to the earlier battle between Daniela Hantuchova and Conchita Martinez, which lasted three hours 21 minutes, Husarova needed a little over an hour to defeat Sanchez-Vicario to secure the title for the Slovaks.
Husarova herself still looked as if she could not believe what had happened when she spoke to the press some time after the match had finished.
“It is a great feeling," she said. "I was fighting for all of us. You really have to be there to really know how it feels.”
With Sanchez-Vicario forced to withdraw from her match against Hantuchova yesterday due to a leg injury she aggravated in the Semifinal against Austria, it was not known until 10 minutes before today’s match whether or not she would be fit enough to take the court against Husarova.
It was a situation that might unsettle some players, but Husarova was unfazed. Having twice played and beaten both Sanchez-Vicario and Magui Serna – her logical replacement – earlier this year, the Slovak was confident of her chances against either player.
“I was pretty confident because this match was indoors and I had beaten Arantxa twice this year on clay, and this is a better surface for me, so I knew I could win.”
But even Husarova would have been surprised by the ease of the victory.
The first set took just 19 minutes, the second not much longer. The only hiccough came as Husarova served for the match at 5-0 and Sanchez-Vicario – desperate to get on the scoreboard – broke serve. The former World No.1 then held her own for the first time in the match but it was too little too late, Husarova keeping her composure in the next game to win the match and the title.
“There was a lot of tension and I started to feel all the pressure building up inside and I just wanted to scream to get it out. But the next time [I served for the match] I just tried to concentrate and when I won the match it was unbelievable.”
For her part, Sanchez-Vicario was philosophical in defeat.
" I did everything right to try to play today, but in the end I couldn’t do it."
“I think the circumstances were very tough and the tension and the pressure of the situation didn’t help (the injury)," admitted a disappointed Sanchez-Vicario afterwards. "But I take the responsibility for the loss. It is difficult when you are not 100 per cent. My legs were not working too well and I was already down 0-5 before I could get going. The match was going so fast, and by then it was too late.”
What had been tears of anxiety yesterday became tears of joy for Husarova today and the 28-year-old was mobbed on court by her teammates moments after the winning point. As team captain Tomas Malik and his players revelled in their victory they team saved a special thank you for the 50 or so Slovak supporters who had travelled to Gran Canara for this week. As Malik acknowledged, their support had been invaluable.
“After Daniela had won such a great match I just wanted to go out there and win for the team. I think it was one of the best matches of my career," added Husarova.
With the tie decided, the referee took the decision to cancel the dead doubles rubber, leaving the Slovaks with nothing left to do but celebrate their wonderful victory.
The Slovak Republic becomes only the ninth nation in the 40-year history of the Fed Cup to win the coveted trophy and is the second ‘first time’ champion in two years, Belgium joining the elite group in 2001.
In the end, it was a tough way for Sanchez-Vicario and Spain – the most successful Fed Cup nation of the last decade – to go out and it will be a day she would rather forget.
“I am a little sad and disappointed," she later conceded. "I wanted to win, and I knew how important it was to win to try and get to 2-2, but it was too late. But the reaction of the crowd was just the best.”
That last comment referred to the occasion in the second set when a lone spectator questioned whether she should be on court due to her injury (her thigh was clearly strapped for the match today). The Spanish crowd were incensed and promptly showed their overwhelming support for their record-breaking player so loudly and for so long that the match had to be halted for a couple of minutes.
It is perhaps support like that which prompted Sanchez-Vicario to refuse to rule out appearing in Fed Cup again.
“I am so proud to have represented my country for so many years and to have set so many records. It did not go my way today, but that is sport.”
For the Slovaks, on the other hand, it did go their way and it will be one day they will always remember
That last quote by Arantxa made me feel better. :)
Nov 3rd, 2002, 11:43 PM
Wongqks, just curious. Why wouldn't Magui be eligible to play? She played the first day (and that was against Daniela, not Husarova), so why couldn't she play the second?
And I felt bad for Aranxta, too, but apparently she said that the standing ovation made up for that one jerk, so that's good.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 11:46 PM
Classy arantxa, she completely won me over after this Fed Cup.
also i am happy for Slovaks, they deserve it, their team is not the strongest but they fight and get their result, showing that team spirit is more improtant than marquee player in Fed cup
That man who shouted at her deserves to be shot :p
Nov 4th, 2002, 12:30 AM
to be honest I have no idea, but someone mention in the scoring thread that becuase Magui play yesterday and that she was not nominate as playing singles by the team initally, she can't play or something, i need someone to confirm this, sorry if I gave thewrong information, but I believe this is the reason or Arantxa won't risk it
Nov 4th, 2002, 01:00 AM
Aranxta is one of the greatest players of all time. I have unspeakable admiration for her and many of her performances. A truly unforgettable competitor, and champion.
What that man did was terrible. He humiliated Aranxta when she deserves respect for all she's achieved. Besides, she's been humiliating herself for the last 18 months. Today was no exception.
Harsh as that man was, he was right.
His conduct was inexcusable, but his message, by contrast, was sound.
Nov 4th, 2002, 01:07 AM
no excuse for such a statement
Nov 4th, 2002, 01:39 AM
I feel so sorry for Vicario. That man should be so ashamed of him-self.
I feel really upset with the way he behaved !!!!!!
Nov 4th, 2002, 03:15 AM
if arantxa cried because she lost the match, fair and square, but if she cried because of an ignorant comment made by an ignoramus, that is totally not worth it. As many have stated, who knows if arantxa wanted play in the first place Even if she wasn't 100 percent fit, at least give her credit for fighting through the pain and carrying the weight of the whole Spanish team and crowd needing her to win the match to at least keep Spain in the tie. What good does it do by telling that to arantxa in the middle of the match, I think maybe that manwants Spain to lose!
Arantxa is a great champion and will bounce back in classic Arantxa style!
Nov 4th, 2002, 03:58 AM
why did she even continue playing if she's injured?:mad: she could given other players the chance....she can't represent Spain forever.:o
Nov 4th, 2002, 04:19 AM
ASV didn't deserve this crap, and Spain has tremendous fans! One moron helped express Spanish love of a thousands spectators. What an idiot!
Better luck next time ASV
Nov 4th, 2002, 04:30 AM
Arantxa and Conchita are amazing fighters. They are icons not only of Spanish tennis or of women's tennis or of tennis. They are icons of sport and heroism.
Nov 4th, 2002, 04:44 AM
I call this greediness 'coz they have the option to replace an injured player. Maybe Arantxa thought she could easily beat Janett but "karma" struck her.
Playing injured is stupid specially if they have another option for a replacement.:mad:
Nov 4th, 2002, 05:34 AM
That man was an asshole, Arantxa has given her best effort for her country so many years and she didnt deserve to be insulted like that. We dont even know if it was her decision! It probably wouldnt have made a difference if Magui played anyway, she got thrashed in her last match! And she wasnt even injured! I hope he was beaten up by spectators outside later! Its ok to think thoughts like that but its mean to say it in front of Arantxa and everyone! :sad:
Nov 4th, 2002, 07:21 AM
Actually , 'no estás en condiciones ni de jugar a la canasta' might mean something different, in Spanish the word 'canasta' is also used for a card game that old people play (so the comment was even more offensive).
I felt really sorry for her, I'm not a fan of Arantxa at all, but you could see how humiliating the situation was for her. Husarova even had match point at 6-0, 5-0, but fortunately Arantxa could win two games there. It would have been so sad to see her double-bagelled.
Nov 4th, 2002, 10:19 AM
Conchita played her heart out..... Something you rarely see... Unfortunately she lost...
Arantxa ... I am not a big fan of arantxa but she is a great great player ... her record speaks for itself.. But... Its a team game.. And if she can't give 100% or even 85%.... She should have told the coach to give her spot to somebody else.. :) :) What the man said was rude... but not entirely wrong... :) :)
Nov 4th, 2002, 10:23 AM
that's so true bee...i hope that the Spanish team could learn from this experience. This should be an eye opener that Arantxa cannot represent Spain forever.
Nov 8th, 2002, 08:57 PM
Oh my god, what an idiot !!
Nov 8th, 2002, 09:10 PM
poor Arantxa :sad:
Nov 8th, 2002, 09:38 PM
I'm appauled at reading about the spectator's comments.
On the other hand I am impressed at the crowd's reaction - the Spanish seem to reward the loyalty that ASV has shown to her country over her career ... something I think is great :).