Fed Cup: The Green/Blue/Red Grass/Hard/Clay of Home
Posted by gauloises1 on April 26, 2010
Italy will face the US in a repeat of last year’s Fed Cup final after the doubles pairing of Liezel Huber and Bethanie Mattek-Sands won the deciding rubber against Russia’s Elena Dementieva and Alla Kudryavtseva.
USA 3 – Russia 2
A well-deserved flag-bearing role for Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Heading into Sunday, the tie was poised 1-1 with Melanie Oudin and Elena Dementieva winning in straights on the opening day. But Demmy once again proved her Fed Cup credentials by recovering from a bizarre second-set bagel to take the match 63 in the third.
Fed Cup singles debutante Ekaterina Makarova was unable to close out the tie, however, falling to Mattek-Sands in a three-set defeat that left her in tears.
The devastated Makarova was benched for the doubles in favour of Alla Kudryavtseva and the gamble did not pay off, with the Russians never really in the match that Mattek-Sands and Huber won comfortably, 63 61, to kick off the celebrations in Alabama.
Congratulations indeed. Russia may not exactly have fielded their strongest team, but given the continuing and high-profile absences from the American team, it speaks volumes for their camaraderie and commitment that they’ve made their second Fed Cup final in as many years.
Unfortunately, unless something drastic changes, it’s hard to see the final going differently this time than it did in 2009. Admittedly the US will be the hosts and have a choice of surface, but it’s hard to see hard courts as disadvantaging the Italians, and Schiavone at least is no slouch on grass. And the final is right after the year-end championships, so those high-profile absences are probably set to continue. Basically I’m saying we can expect to see more of this:
And why not? Love those two.