Why Italy won the Fed Cup

November 8, 2010

Italy was victorious in the Fed Cup final versus the USA this past weekend. It was not a surprise at all because the American side was missing Serena and Venus Williams. Had the Williams sisters been healthy it most likely would have been an American victory.

The Italian side is a very strong team with French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and world class player Flavia Pennetta playing at number 1 and 2 respectively. Day one was very routine for the Italians; Schiavone won easily against 18-year-old Coco Vandeweghe and Pennetta beat Mattek-Sands convincingly as well. Day two was much more interesting because Melanie Oudin of USA came in for the injured Mattek-Sands.

U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez (R) talks with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in a break during her match against Flavia Pennetta of Italy in their second round tennis match of the Fed Cup final in San Diego, California November 6, 2010.   REUTERS/Mike Blake

Oudin played a great match while Schiavone was not at her best. Oudin won 6-3 6-1 and The Americans were back in the tie. Personally I would have played Oudin on day one just because of her competitive nature and she really enjoys a big stage. For me, Coco Vandeweghe isn’t ready at a ranking of 114 in the world to compete at this level and proved so by losing to Pennetta in the next match 6-1 6-2. This gave Italy the Fed Cup title for the third time in four years.

Members of the Italian Fed Cup tennis team, Francesca Schiavone (L-R) Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci, look over at the Fed Cup after defeating the United States in San Diego, California November 7, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The American team will be disappointed, having lost to Italy at home in San Diego, and will be hoping for Serena and Venus to be healthy for next year’s Fed Cup. Italian Team Captain Corrado Barazzutti said “My job is very easy, because I am lucky enough to captain a very strong team.” That is very true. One of the biggest secrets to success in the Fed Cup and Davis Cup is getting your top players involved and wanting to play every year. Barazzutti has done a great job. Well done to Team Italy.

Italy's tennis player Flavia Pennetta is congratulated by her teammates after defeating CoCo Vandeweghe of the U.S to clinch the Fed Cup in San Diego, California November 7, 2010.   REUTERS/Mike Blake

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