2006 Fed Cup WTA Results (International Tennis Federation Cup)     Italy, Fed Cup Champions

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  WTA Sep 16-17


Fed Cup World Group Final: Italy d Belgium 3-2
Spiroudome, Charleroi, Belgium
indoor: hard (Deco-Turf)

Live Scores - brackets & results - news
photos: Yahoo! news - Fed Cup gallery
mp3 audio: Fed Cup Radio - interviews
Charleroi: radar - forecast (playing indoors)
Belgium:
# 2 dNR Justine Henin-Hardenne
# 98 d955 Kirsten Flipkens
# 367 d217 Caroline Maes
# 638 d231 Leslie Butkiewicz
Captain: Carl Maes
Italy:
# 14 d16 Francesca Schiavone
# 20 d29 Flavia Pennetta
# 33 d54 Mara Santangelo
# 90 d50 Roberta Vinci
Captain: Corrado Barazzutti
Other Fed Cup pages: 2005 - 2004 - 2003
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Charleroi:
click for Vinci news photo search
Robert Vinci
& Francesca Schiavone
Charleroi:
click for Schiavone news photo search
Flavia Pennetta, Mara Santangelo,
Roberta Vinci, Francesca Schiavone

    On Sunday, in the final "rubber" of the 2006 Fed Cup Final in Charleroi, Belgium, 23-year-old d54 Roberta Vinci and 26-year-old d50 Francesca Schiavone of Italy won the unfun way, defeating 24-year-old dNR Justine Henin-Hardenne and 20-year-old d955 Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 3-6, 6-2, 2-0 retired when Justine could no longer continue due to a aggravated right knee injury (Roberta & Francesca are shown during the match, and with their teammates and the hardware afterward). The win gave Italy their first Fed Cup title, 3-2.
    Justine said: "I felt something wrong, something very sudden. It's more muscular, I think right now, but I hope it's not something really serious. No regrets. When I walk on the court it's to give 200%. I couldn't do more this weekend, I gave a lot to the team, it wasn't enough." ITF story
    Italian Captain Corrado Barrazutti said: "I am very happy, but I am very sorry for Justine Henin-Hardenne, that was not really the way that we wanted to win. But in tennis anything can happen."

    Earlier on Sunday # 2 Justine had started the day right by defeating # 14 Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 7-5 at singles--the same score by which she had defeated # 20 Flavia Pennetta on Saturday. This gave Belgium a 2-1 lead, but at a cost. During the match, Justine aggravated a right knee cartilage injury that has been troubling her since early 2005.
    Justine said: "There was a lot of tension in the match, and my knee was in a lot of trouble. I just tried to keep fighting. At the end of the match, when I was 1-4 down, I decided to move to the net as I couldn't win this match in three [sets], and I felt [Francesca] was nervous at the end. I wasn't feeling very comfortable, but I kept fighting, and I won and that's the only thing we're going to remember." ITF story
    Francesca said: "[Justine] played very well at the end, and on the most important points she played better."

    In the 2nd "reverse singles rubber" of the day, Italy's Flavia Pennetta, troubled by an injury, was replaced by # 33 Mara Santangelo, who defeated # 98 Kirsten Flipkens 6(3)-7, 6-3, 6-0.
    Mara said: "It was very difficult for me. I started a little bit tight, with some nerves. After the first set, I tried to enjoy my tennis to do my best... We have a great team. Everyone is doing their best. Altogether, we believe that we can do it." ITF story

    Mara's victory tied the score at 2-2, and kept Italy in the competition for the deciding doubles--which they appeared to be on the way to winning--when Justine re-aggravated her knee injury, and was, unfortunately unable to walk properly, let alone play tennis.

    (Sep 19, 2006) # 2 Justine Henin-Hardenne will be sidelined for at least 3 weeks by a torn muscle in the back of her right knee, which she sustained in the Fed Cup final on Sep 17. The injury forced Justine to retire from the decisive doubles rubber, and Italy won the Cup 3-2. Justine's offical website says that her chances of playing in Zurich (Oct 16) are "strongly compromised. Nonetheless, she hopes to play the WTA Championships in Madrid on November 7, and possibly a warm-up tournament prior to Spain."

Sep 17 mp3 Audio Interviews, after doubles:
Francesca Schiavone - Roberta Vinci - Justine Henin-Hardenne - Kirsten Flipkens
Sep 17 mp3 Audio Interviews, after singles:
Justine Henin-Hardenne - Francesca Schiavone - Mara Santangelo

Sep 16 mp3 Audio Interviews:
Francesca Schiavone - Kirsten Flipkens - Justine Henin-Hardenne - Flavia Pennetta

WTA SCOREBOARD: Fed Cup World Group Final:
The Wimbledon Centre Court scoreboard at match point during the 1977 ladies singles semifinal as Virginia Wade defeated Chris Evert, and advanced to defeat Betty Stove in the final, becoming the last British woman to win the singles title at Wimbledon-- a portion of a photo from Virginia's book Courting Triumph, click for book excerpts
s=seed, #=rank, *=upset
ranks are for the current week
Italy d Belgium 3-2: Spiroudome, Charleroi, Belgium indoor: hard (Deco-Turf)
Saturday, Sep 16, 2006 1400 GMT
1 #14 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #98 Kirsten Flipkens BEL 6-1, 6-3 stats, .pdf - ITF story

click for Fed Cup gallery click for Flipkens news photo search click for Schiavone news photo search click for Schiavone news photo search
Inside the Charleroi Spiroudome, Kirsten serving to Francesca,
Francesca about to wallop a forehand, and with Mara Santangelo and Roberta Vinci after match point

    Francesca said: "I played very good the first set, the second until 5-0, but after that [Kirsten] grew up a little bit. When you don't have anything to lose you go free. But then I put in a good serve, a great kick, and I won the last point."

    Kirsten said: "I think it's normal that you have some nerves at the beginning – even Justine has some nerves right now – but I think [Francesca] was just playing unbelievably. Until 61 5-0 she hardly made any mistakes, and it was hard for me to get in the game."

2 #2 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #20 Flavia Pennetta ITA 6-4, 7-5 stats, .pdf - ITF story

click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search click for Pennetta news photo search click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search
Justine following a fleet forehand, Flavia running one down, and Justine after match point

    Justine said: "The crowd really helped me to win. Carl [Maes, Belgium’s captain], the team and the crowd all pulled me through. I didn’t play my best tennis but the important thing today was to win...
    "It will be a difficult day tomorrow. I have to win my second singles first after that I am ready to play the doubles. I haven’t played doubles for a while and have not even had chance to practise [doubles] for a while. But I think I still know the rules!"

    Flavia broke Justine's serve and had a 5-3 lead in the 2nd set--but Justine broke back, held her serve, and broke Flavia again. Flavia said: "[Justine] is No. 2 and I am No. 20, that’s what happens. She played the important points much better than me. At 5-3 in the second set, I probably began to think too much."

Sunday, Sep 17, 2006 1400 GMT:
3 #2 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #14 Francesca Schiavone ITA 6-4, 7-5 stats, .pdf - ITF story - game-by-game

click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search click for Schiavone news photo search click for Schiavone news photo search click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search
Justine serving, Francesca waiting to swat a forehand, Francesca serving, Justine's forehand, and after match point

4 #33 Mara Santangelo ITA d #98 Kirsten Flipkens BEL 6(3)-7, 6-3, 6-0 stats, .pdf - ITF story - game-by-game

click for Santangelo news photo search click for Flipkens news photo search click for Santangelo news photo search
Mara and Kirsten while firing forehands,
and Mara with, possibly, Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta, and Tathiana Garbin after match point

5 d16 Francesca Schiavone & d50 Roberta Vinci ITA d dNR Justine Henin-Hardenne & d955 Kirsten Flipkens BEL
    3-6, 6-2, 2-0 retired-- Henin-Hardenne right knee injury stats, .pdf - game-by-game

click for Vinci news photo search click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search click for Schiavone news photo search click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search
Francesca advising Roberta to use the yellow ball this time, Justine following a forehand, Roberta and Francesca reaching for a ball,
and Justine, trainer at knee, wondering who she can kill so that she will no longer have injuries at times like this


  Fed Cup Rules Overview

    Fed Cup "ties" consist of 5 matches ("rubbers"), 4 singles and 1 doubles. Each country's # 1 singles player plays the other country's # 2 singles player the first day (the order of play decided by lot), and on the 2nd day they swap and the # 1s play each other, followed by the # 2s, followed by the doubles match. The teams are run by non-playing "captains" who are usually highly-regarded coaches and/or former players. The 3rd and 4th players on each team, at the captain's discretion, might not play at all, or might play doubles, or might substitute for an injured or struggling # 1 or # 2 player.

    Only teams in World Group are playing for the Cup itself. Teams in World Group II are playing to get into the World Group (formerly known as World Group I) next year; teams in "Zonal Groups" are playing to get into World Group II next year.

    Fed Cup rules state that player changes for the day's opening singles match must be made by the captains with the referee one hour prior to the start of play. Player changes for the second match of the day must be made by ten minutes after the conclusion of the first match. On Sunday, changes in the doubles line-up can be made up to 15 minutes after the end of the second singles match.

  Fed Cup Structure Overview

    89 nations are competing in Fed Cup play at 3 levels. 2005 was the first year that the Fed Cup used a a 3-tiered system similar to the Davis Cup system. 8 teams compete at the top level, called World Group (formerly called World Group I), and 8 more teams at the 2nd level, called World Group II. The remaining 73 teams are placed in Zonal Groups I, II, and III. Only the 8 teams in World Group are competing to win the Fed Cup in any given year; the teams in the lower 2 levels are competing to move up into World Group.
    The 4 1st round (quarterfinal) winners in World Group each year will remain in World Group the following year. From this year on the 4 1st round losers in World Group will play off against the 4 winners from World Group II to determine the other 4 entries in World Group for the following year; the 4 losers of these playoffs are in World Group II the following year. Similarly, the 4 losers from World Group II each year will playoff against 4 Zonal Group winners to determine the other 4 members of World Group II the following year.
    All these playoffs are held at the same time as the World Group semifinals, which are the weekend following Wimbledon.
    So, essentially the teams play their 1st "tie" to try to advance, and if they lose, they play a 2nd "tie" which they must win to avoid being demoted. full explanation of Fed Cup structure

    2005 World Group round 1 winners Russia, USA, France, & Spain, by reaching the 2005 semifinals, qualified to be included in World Group for 2006. Italy, Belgium, Austria, & Germany won their WGI playoffs on July 9-10, 2005, and also played in World Group I in 2006.
    Fed Cup World Group II in 2006 (the teams playing for a chance to get into World Group in 2007) consisted of Switzerland, Argentina, Czech Republic, Croatia, Japan, China, Thailand, and Indonesia.
    The remaining 73 Fed Cup teams played in "Zonal Groups" in 2006. Zonal Group teams played for a chance to get into World Group II in 2007, so they might get into World Group, and actually compete for the cup, in 2008.

    The 2007 Fed Cup World Group (the teams actually playing for the Cup) will consist of Belgium, Italy, USA, Spain, Russia, France, Japan, and China.
    The 2007 Fed Cup World Group II (teams playing to get into the 2008 World Group) will consist of Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Croatia, Slovak Republic, Australia, Israel, and Canada.
    The remaining 73 nations playing Fed Cup tennis will play in "Zonal Groups" in 2007, trying to get into World Group II in 2008.

2007 World Group - 1st Round, April 21-22
Belgium at USA
Spain at Russia
Japan at France
China at Italy
    2007 World Group II - April 21-22
Czech Republic at Slovak Republic
Croatia at Germany
Israel at Canada
Australia at Austria

    (Oct 4, 2006) # 3 Maria Sharapova has announced on her official website that she will play for Russia in the 1st round of Fed Cup competition next year. Spain will play Russia in Moscow in the 1st (quarterfinal) round of World Group play, April 22-23. It will be Maria's first participation in Fed Cup play.
    Maria's compatriot Elena Dementieva said: "If [Maria] plays it's going to be very helpful for the team. She's a very strong player and we have a lot of chances to win if she's playing." Reuters story
    Maria's father Yuri is boisterous at matches to a point that many people find offensive and distracting. But, Elena said: "I don't see any problems with her father. He's an emotional guy but it is nothing to do with his daughter. Maria is a nice girl and I don't see any problems."

click for Fed Cup gallery
Kim Clijsters congratulating Justine Henin-Hardenne after Justine defeated Francesca Schiavone to give Belgium a 2-1 lead on Sunday, Sep 17
        (Aug 18, 2006 revised) 2005 US Open champion and WTA # 2 Kim Clijsters will miss the 2006 US Open because of a left wrist injury. Kim will be probably be out of action for about 6 weeks, which means she will also miss the Belgium v Italy Fed Cup final in September. original AP story

    On Wednesday night, August 16, in Montreal, Kim lost to Canadian wild card 19-year-old # 153 Stephanie Dubois 1-6, 3-2 retired, when Kim could no longer play due to a left wrist sprain.

    Kim missed most of the 2nd half of the 2004 season due to left wrist injuries.
    Since then, Kim said: "I definitely have days where it feels a lot stiffer, but not in a way where it restricts me. I warm it up, and then that's fine when I get out there-- but not like this." Kim won 9 tourneys in 2005.

    Kim said: "Halfway through the first set I just started feeling my backhand, I couldn't get down with my racquet. I couldn't produce the spin that I normally do... I started slicing and just trying to protect, it kind of got worse and just stiffened up and then I called the trainer out. Obviously with the history that I have with my wrist, it's something that really worries me... Falling on it definitely didn't help, either." postmatch interview - WTA story

    (July 20, 2006) # 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne probably will play for Belgium in the 2006 Fed Cup final Sept 17-18. On Justine's official website, referring to his statement of July 20 (below), coach Carlos Rodriguez said: "It was the only means that I had so that people react a little bit- it was to strike strong... one hour after my official statement everyone wanted to talk to me...
    "Justine will now have five weeks off with no tournaments. She has removed San Diego from her itinerary. Justine fully understands her health requirements... She will play only one warm-up event to prepare for the US OPEN, and that will be Montreal. This will give her a week to recover, and focus on form. If there are no injuries Justine will play...
    "It was important that Justine again feels welcomed in the team, because she will sit beside the captain during crucial moments during the matches. It's important for her to rely on this person. I think that Justine and Carl [Captain Carl Maes] arrived at an agreement. The explanation of the coach is satisfactory for Justine, she has always wanted to play, but only to a team which wants her. Justine told me after the FED CUP quarter-final match in Liege that she hasn't felt this great in a long time. She will play, yes above all matters, she wants to play."

    (July 18, 2006) # 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne will probably not play for Belgium in the 2006 Fed Cup final Sept 17-18. According to a statement by her coach Carlos Rodriguez on her official website, Justine has been put off by a series of apparent insults from Belgian tennis officials after she withdrew from the semifinal against the USA due to fatigue.
    Rodriguez said: "Justine will not participate in these conditions... In London after the Wimbledon Ladies final on Sunday night Justine contacted the Belgian team Captain and gave her decision, she cannot participate in Fed Cup next weekend... the Francophone Tennis Federation president Andre Stein said not to release the information until Wednesday or Thursday... Tennis fans were left in doubt, on hold for three days, much to Justine's embarrassment...
    "There were more bad surprises. At the request of the Captain, Justine was contacted to attend, and encourage the team on Saturday and Sunday at Ostend. Justine arrived on Friday to Brussels, and much to her astonishment was then told by the Francophone Tennis Federation that the Captain said; yes the very person who told her to come and support the team in person, not to make an appearance because the general public, and the supporters did not want her there in Ostend. He also said that it would not be good for the atmosphere of the team. I think this is evidence there is a lack of respect and recognition from the authorities of Belgian tennis in regards to Justine. She was thrilled to be joining the team at the Fed Cup dinner on Friday, but turned away for that too! The lack of respect and recognition gives her real pain.
    "Unfortunately, as you can now understand, if she's rejected for the Semi-Finals, I do not see how welcoming it would be in the Finals... I know that you will understand that under the current conditions, for the principles and respect, and simply of human values, it does not look possible for her to join the tie played in September.
    "To finish, I think the most penalized one is Justine. When I see all that she's done for tennis, and Belgian sport, all that I see around her is simply a lack of intelligence and good direction.
    "With this messy sad episode, Justine will not deal with Fed Cup matters, and from now on we have decided that I will be the only person to contact if you need to speak about Fed Cup."
the above is a translation from a statement in French

  WTA Jul 15-16

Fed Cup World Group Semifinals:

Live Scores
USA lost at Belgium 1-4 (indoor hard)
    Belgium weather radar - Ostend forecast (playing indoors)
Italy won at Spain 3-1 (outdoor red clay)
    Spain weather radar - Zaragoza forecast


World Group Playoffs:
Live Scores
    Czech Rep 2 at France 3 - Austria 0 at Japan 5
    Germany 1 at China 4 - Russia 3 at Croatia 2
World Group II Playoffs
    Thailand 0 at Slovak Republic 5 - Australia 5 at Switzerland 0
    Argentina 2 at Canada 3 - Israel d Indonesia walkover

brackets & results - news
Yahoo! "Fed Cup" news photos - Fed Cup photo archives
mp3 audio: interview archive - Fed Cup Radio Player
Other Fed Cup pages: 2005 - 2004 - 2003
previous other
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Zaragoza:
click for Pennetta news photo search
#19 Flavia Pennetta
5' 7¾", 128 lbs, RH 2H-BH
Ostend:
click for Clijsters
#2 Kim Clijsters
5' 8½", 150 lbs, RH 2H-BH

    On Sunday in Ostend, Belgium, in the 3rd "rubber" of the Fed Cup semifinal "tie" pitting the USA versus Belgium, # 2 Kim Clijsters from Bree, Belgium, crushed, killed and destroyed # 79 Vania King from Long Beach, California, 6-0, 6-1 (Kim is shown after match point). This clinched the victory for Belgium with 3 wins in the best-of-five, and puts Belgium in the Fed Cup final against Italy on Sept 17-18 (the weekend following the US Open).

    Kim said: "I feel great. I was very happy that I could start the day off... I had to change my mind a little bit because I only knew about [King replacing Craybas] 20 minutes before I had to play. I was feeling good on court and I played a lot better than I did yesterday." ITF story

    In the 4th "rubber" Kim's compatriot # 122 Kirsten Flipkens from Mol, Belgium, won the unfun way, defeating # 134 Mashona Washington from Houston, Texas, 2-6, 3-1 retired when Mashona unfortunately strained ligaments in her right knee.

    The doubles "rubber" was as academic as the 4th singles, but the USA got on the board when Jill Craybas & Vania King demolished Leslie Butkiewicz & Caroline Maes 6-1, 6-2.

    Meanwhile, in Zaragoza, Spain, the Italy versus Spain semifinal "tie" appeared to be turning into a real contest when # 24 Anabel Medina Garrigues from Valencia, Spain, defeated # 14 Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-2, 6-2. This reduced Italy's lead to 2-1, keeping Spain in the game.

    But in the final singles "rubber," # 19 Flavia Pennetta from Milan, Italy, defeated # 47 Lourdes Dominguez Lino from Pontevedra, Spain, 6-2, 6-4, clinching the win, and a place in the final against Belgium in September, for Italy, 3-1 (Flavia is also shown after match point).

    Flavia said: "This is unbelievable because in the beginning we didn’t think we could make it to the final. It’s an incredible sensation to win the last point." ITF story

    Belgium will play Italy for the 2006 Fed Cup title on Sept 17-18, indoors at the Spiroudome in Charleroi, Belgium. If both Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne play, the Belgians will very likely win the Cup. If only Kim plays, it could go either way. If neither Kim nor Justine plays, the Cup will very likely be taken by Italy.

July 16 mp3 Audio Interviews:
Kim Clijsters - Vania King - Captain Carl Maes
Flavia Pennetta - Francesca Schiavone
Captain Corrado Barazzutti - Captain Miguel Margets

July 15 mp3 Audio Interviews:
Kim Clijsters - Kirsten Flipkens - Jill Craybas
Captain Carl Maes - Captain Zina Garrison
Francesca Schiavone & Captain Corrado Barazzutti
Anabel Medina Garrigues - Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario

WTA SCOREBOARD: Fed Cup World Group Semifinals:
The Wimbledon Centre Court scoreboard at match point during the 1977 ladies singles semifinal as Virginia Wade defeated Chris Evert, and advanced to defeat Betty Stove in the final, becoming the last British woman to win the singles title at Wimbledon-- a portion of a photo from Virginia's book Courting Triumph, click for book excerpts
s=seed, #=rank, *=upset
ranks are for the current week
USA 1 at Belgium 4: Sea'rena, Ostend, BEL indoor: hard (Deco-Turf)
Saturday, Jul 15, 2006 1400 GMT ITF story
1 *#122 Kirsten Flipkens BEL d #70 Jill Craybas USA 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 stats, .pdf

click for Flipkens news photo search click for Craybas news photo search click for Flipkens news photo search
Kirsten serving a cannonball, Jill's backhand, and Kirsten after match point

2 #2 Kim Clijsters BEL d #67 Jamea Jackson USA 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 stats, .pdf

click for Clijsters news photo search click for Jackson news photo search click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim following a forehand, Jamea about to bop a backhand, and Kim after match point

Sunday, Jul 16, 2006 1400 GMT: ITF story
3 #2 Kim Clijsters BEL d #79 Vania King USA 6-0, 6-1 stats, .pdf

click for Clijsters news photo search click for King news photo search click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim awaiting a backhand, Vania launching a forehand, and Kim after match point

4 *#122 Kirsten Flipkens BEL d #134 Mashona Washington USA 2-6, 3-1 retired--strained r knee ligament stats, .pdf

click for Flipkens news photo search
Caroline Maes helped Kirsten get a drink (all over her) after Kim Clijsters clinched

5 d82 Jill Craybas & d181 Vania King USA d d267 L Butkiewicz & d299 C Maes BEL 6-1, 6-2 stats, .pdf

United States:
#67 d436 Jamea Jackson
#70 d82 Jill Craybas
#79 d181 Vania King
#134 d75 Mashona Washington
Captain: Zina Garrison
Belgium:
#2 dNR Kim Clijsters
#122 d931 Kirsten Flipkens
#399 d299 Caroline Maes
#509 d267 Leslie Butkiewicz
Captain: Carl Maes
Italy 3 at Spain 1: Stadium Casablanca, Zaragoza, Spain outoor: red clay
Saturday, Jul 15, 2006 1000 GMT ITF story
1 #19 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #24 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 6-3, 6-0 stats, .pdf.

click for Pennetta news photo search click for Medina Garrigues news photo search click for Pennetta news photo search
Flavia and Anabel ready to wallop backhands, and Flavia after match point

2 #14 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #47 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP 6-4, 7-5 stats, .pdf

click for Fed Cup gallery click for Dominguez Lino news photo search click for Schiavone news photo search
Francesca's forehand, Lourdes chasing one, and Francesca after match point

Sunday, Jul 16, 2006 0900 GMT ITF story
3 *#24 A Medina Garrigues ESP d #14 Francesca Schiavone ITA 6-2, 6-2 stats, .pdf

click for Medina Garrigues news photo search click for Schiavone news photo search click for Medina Garrigues news photo search
Anabel's 2-handed backhand, Francesca about to hit her 1-hander, and Anabel after match point

4 #19 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #47 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP 6-2, 6-4 stats, .pdf

click for Pennetta news photo search click for Dominguez Lino news photo search click for Pennetta news photo search
Flavia's backhand, Lourdes ready to lightly tap one, and Flavia after match point

5 cancelled due to hot weather

Spain:
#24 d19 Anabel Medina Garrigues
#47 d54 Lourdes Dominguez Lino
#83 d5 Virginia Ruano Pascual
#86 d80 Maria Antonia Sanchez Lorenzo
Captain: Miguel Margets
Italy:
#14 d20 Francesca Schiavone
#19 d14 Flavia Pennetta
#39 d52 Mara Santangelo
#76 d197 Romina Oprandi
Captain: Corrado Barazzutti
Playoffs:
World Group Play-off:
Czech Rep. lost at France 2-3 - US Cagnes, Cagnes-sur-Mer, FRA
Austria lost at Japan 0-5 - Ariake Colussium, Tokyo, JPN
Germany lost at China 1-4 - Beijing International Tennis Centre, Beijing, CHN
Russia won at Croatia 3-2 - ITC Stella Maris, Umag, CRO

click for Dementieva news photo search click for Chakvetadze news photo search click for Fed Cup gallery
Saturday: Elena Dementieva of Russia firing a forehand while defeating Sanja Ancic of Croatia in Umag; Elena's teammate Anna Chakvetadze
belting a backhand while defeating Ivana Lisjak; Katrin Woerle of Germany congratulating Jie Zheng of China after losing to Jie in Beijing

click for Sugiyama news photo search click for Fed Cup gallery click for Vaidisova news photo search click for Fed Cup gallery
Saturday: Ai Sugiyama of Japan after defeating Melanie Klaffner of Austria in Tokyo; Ai's teammate Akiko Morigami reaching for a forehand while defeating Barbara Schwartz; Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic after defeating Tatiana Golovin of France in Cagnes-sur-Mer; Nathalie Dechy of France after evening the score against the Czechs by defeating Lucie Safarova

click for Vaidisova news photo search click for Golovin news photo search click for Dementieva news photo search
Sunday:Nicole Vaidisova fired a forehand while putting the Czechs ahead of France by defeating Nathalie Dechy--
but Tatiana Golovin won her singles, and won again at doubles with Severine Bremond, giving France the 3-2 win;
Elena Dementieva of Russia ripped a backhand while defeating Karolina Sprem, off the bench for Croatia despite illness...

click for Dementieva news photo search click for Na Li news photo search click for Zheng news photo search click for nakamura news photo search
Sunday: Elena's win clinched victory for Russia; Na Li fired a forehand for China while defeating Kathrin Woerle;
Na's teammates Jie Zheng & Zi Yan added another Fed Cup win to their 2 Grand Slam titles this year at doubles;
and Aiko Nakamura of Japan celebrated winning a point on her way to defeating Barbara Schwartz of Germany

World Group II Play-off
Thailand lost at Slovak Republic 0-5 - Sibamac Arena, National Tennis Centre, Bratislava, SVK
Australia won at Switzerland 5-0 - TC Chavannes-de-Bogis, Chavannes-de-Bogis, SUI
Argentina lost at Canada 2-3 - Royal Glenora Club, Edmonton, Alberta, CAN
Israel d Indonesia - walkover

(July 13, 2006) # 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne has withdrawn from the USA at Belgium Fed Cup semifinal "tie" on July 15-16. Justine cites exhaustion from playing so many rounds at Roland Garros, Eastbourne, and Wimbledon as the cause for her withdrawal; she will be attending the matches in Ostend, Belgium to lend vocal support to the team.
    Justine's spot on the roster has been taken by # 509 Leslie Butkiewicz, who clearly will not play singles, but might play in doubles. # 2 Kim Clijsters will have to carry the load for Belgium. Kim lost to # 70 Jill Craybas of the US earlier this year in the 2nd round in Miami, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5. Don't expect that to happen again. Ever. Kim has never played the other US player she is likely to face in singles, # 67 Jamea Jackson, but she is not likely to lose to Jamea either.

    # 122 Kirsten Flipkens will almost surely play the other singles position for Belgium. She has never played Jill Craybas, and met Jamea Jackson for the first time in the 1st round at Wimbledon last month; Jamea won, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Kirsten will have home court advantage this time, and might be able to take a match from either Jill or Jamea.
    If she cannot, and it the score becomes 2-2, then doubles will decide the victor, and the announced pairings for doubles will almost surely be changed. This would likely pit Kim Clijsters & Caroline Maes (who has played doubles with Kim before, although her rank, d299, is slightly lower than Leslie's d267) against d75 Mashona Washington & d82 Jill Craybas. Belgium would be slightly favored in this match, because Kim, although she has rarely played doubles since her injury problems, was doubles # 1 two years ago--and again, because of the home court advantage.

    In the Fed Cup semifinals on July 15-16, the United States will play at Belgium, and Italy will play at Spain. The semifinal winners will meet in the Fed Cup final on Sept. 16-17.
    Also on July 15-16, WG I losers Russia, France, Austria and Germany will play WG II winners China, Japan, Czech Republic and Croatia. The draw was decided on Apr 25: Japan at Austria, Czech Rep. at France, Germany at China, & Russia at Croatia. Winners of these "ties" will play against the USA, Italy, Spain, and Belgium in the 2007 WG I 1st round, losers will be in WGII in 2007.
    And also on July 15-16, WG II losers Argentina, Switzerland, Indonesia and Thailand will play Zonal Group winners Slovak Republic, Israel, Australia and Canada. The draw: Argentina at Canada, Indonesia at Israel, Thailand at Slovkia, & Australia at Switzerland. Winners of these "ties" will play in WG II in 2007, losers will play in the Zonal Groups.

    (July 6, 2006) The Indonesia Fed Cup team, which was to face Israel in the Fed Cup World Group II Play-offs in Ramat Hasharon, Israel on July 15-16, has withdrawn from the tie. The Indonesian government instructed the Indonesian Tennis Association not to take part in the tie, because they did not want a team representing their Muslim nation to play on Israeli soil. The Israeli team has thus won by walkover, and will play in World Group II in 2007. The Indonesian team is dropped to Zonal Group play for 2007, and might face additional sanctions.
    (May 24, 2006) Indonesia, which had balked at the notion of playing Fed Cup in Israel on July 15-16, will play. On Thursday, Indonesian Tennis Association deputy secretary-general Ferry Raturandang said: "As a member of the International Tennis Federation, Indonesia is required to follow regulations and events organised by the federation therefore Indonesia must go to Israel and compete." And Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Desra Percaya said: "The match is organised by the International Tennis Federation. It has nothing to do with political issues and bilateral relations between Indonesia and Israel, therefore the team can go to Israel."
    (Apr 27, 2006) Indonesia might forfeit their July 15-16 Fed Cup "tie" against Israel. The Muslim nation has met Israel in Fed Cup play before, but never on Israeli dirt. On Thursday, Indonesian Tennis Association deputy secretary-general Ferry Raturandang said: "We cannot play in Israel." If the ITF does not grant Indonesia a change of venue, which seems unlikely, they will have to forfeit the tie and drop from WG II to the Zonal Groups in 2007-- if they are not suspended for refusing to play.

    (Apr 28, 2006) # 2 Kim Clijsters of Belgium would like the USA at Belgium Fed Cup semi to be played on a hard court, and says in her online diary that she might not play if it is on clay. Kim has always disliked clay, and does not want to play on that surface July 15-16 (a week after playing on grass at Wimbledon and a week before playing on the US hard courts). # 4 Justine Henin-Hardenne, who likes clay courts, has also not yet said if she will play in the Fed Cup semis.

  WTA Apr 22-23

Fed Cup World Group Quarterfinals (aka Round 1):
Live Scores

Russia 2 at Belgium 3 - USA 3 at Germany 2
Italy 4 at France 1 - Austria 0 at Spain 5
Live Scores & stats

World Group II Playoffs: Live Scores
Switzerland 1 at Japan 4 - Argentina 2 at Croatia 3
Czech Rep. 4 at Thailand 1 - China 4 at Indonesia 0

Zonal Groups:
Asia/Oceania - Americas - Europe/Africa
brackets & results - news

Yahoo! "Fed Cup" news photos - Fed Cup photo archives
mp3 audio: interview archive - Fed Cup Radio Player
Belgium weather radar - Liege forecast (playing indoors)
SW Germany weather radar - Ettenheim forecast
France weather radar - Nancy forecast (playing indoors)
Spain weather radar - Valencia forecast
Other Fed Cup pages: 2005 - 2004 - 2003
previous other
tourney pages
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Liege:
click for Fed Cup photos
#2 Kim Clijsters & #4
Justine Henin-Hardenne
Nancy:
click for Schiavone news photo search
#11 Francesca Schiavone &
#20 Flavia Pennetta

    On Sunday in Liege, Belgium, Liege-born 23-year-old # 4 Justine Henin-Hardenne (who now resides in Monte Carlo, Monaco), clinched team victory over Russia by defeating 24-year-old # 9 Elena Dementieva from Moscow, 6-2, 6-0. Justine's teammate, 22-year-old # 2 Kim Clijsters from Hasselt, Belgium, had already put the Belgians ahead 2-1 by defeating 19-year-old # 22 Maria Kirilenko 6-1, 6-4 (Kim and Justine are shown after Justine's victory). Maria played in place of # 5 Nadia Petrova. The reason for the substitution was not given, but Nadia, who went the distance to win the last two WTA tourneys at Amelia Island and Charleston, had felt very tired during her loss to Justine Henin-Hardenne on Saturday. Maria, who did not play those tourneys, was fresh-- although reportedly very nervous in her first Fed Cup action.

    Meanwhile, in Nancy, France, the home team did not fare so well. 24-year-old # 20 Flavia Pennetta from Milan clinched Italian victory over France by defeating 27-year-old # 21 Nathalie Dechy 6-4, 6-2. Flavia's teammate, 25-year-old # 11 Francesca Schiavone, also from Milan, had already put the Italians ahead 2-1 by defeating 26-year-old world # 1 Amelie Mauresmo 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 (Francesca & Flavia are shown after match point of Flavia's win).

    The "tie" between Russia (the 2004 and 2005 Fed Cup Champions) and Belgium (with Kim & Justine both playing for the first time in four years) was the main event of the weekend; the Belgians are now the favorites to win the title this year (with Italy their principal challengers)-- but only if Kim & Justine keep playing.

2006-04-23 WG I Post-Match mp3 Audio Interviews:
Kim Clijsters BEL - Entire USA Team

2006-04-23 WG II Post-Match mp3 Audio Interviews:
Nicole Vaidisova CZE won on her 17th birthday - Na Li CHN - Shuai Peng CHN

2006-04-22 WG I Post-Match mp3 Audio Interviews:
Elena Dementieva RUS - Kim Clijsters BEL - Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL - Nadia Petrova RUS

2006-04-21 WG I Draw mp3 Audio Interviews:
Kim Clijsters - Justine Henin-Hardenne - Nadia Petrova - Elena Dementieva

WTA SCOREBOARD: Fed Cup World Group 1 Round 1 (Quarterfinals):
The Wimbledon Centre Court scoreboard at match point during the 1977 ladies singles semifinal as Virginia Wade defeated Chris Evert, and advanced to defeat Betty Stove in the final, becoming the last British woman to win the singles title at Wimbledon-- a portion of a photo from Virginia's book Courting Triumph, click for book excerpts
s=seed, #=rank, *=upset, LL=lucky loser
ranks are for the current week


click for Clijsters news photo search click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search click for Petrova news photo search click for Fed Cup news photo search
On Friday, April 21, in Liege, Kim Clijsters goofed off while Justine Henin-Hardenne practiced diligently (actually, Kim practiced, too). As she stretched out to avoid more adductor strain problems, Nadia Petrova wondered if she should pin Justine at the baseline, make her come to the net, or punt. At the draw ceremony, Justine & Kim both goofed off, making faces for the photographers.

click for Fed Cup photo gallery click for Fed Cup photo gallery click for Fed Cup photo gallery click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Meanwhile, in Zagreb, Croatia, the local team of Sanja Ancic, Ivana Lisjak, Matea Mezak and Karolina Sprem demonstrated that the girls in World Group II (and the Zonal Groups) are just as pretty as the girls in World Group I. In Valencia, Spain, Anabel Medina Garrigues was looking good, as was her teammate Virginia Ruano Pascual (voting for which color signs BNP Paribas will put up at Fed Cup matches--Vivi chose well, but pink won). And in Nancy, France, Nathalie Dechy was as decorative as the architecture.

click for Fed Cup photo gallery click for Fed Cup photo gallery
In Ettenheim, Germany, Anna-Lena Groenefeld listened carefully while Captain Barbara Rittner explained what would happen to her if she lost
to Jamea Jackson on Saturday. And back in Liege, Justine & Kim tried to stop giggling before facing tennis combat toe-to-toe with the Russkis.

Russia 2 at Belgium 3:
Country Hall du Sart-Tilman, Liege, BEL
indoor: red clay
Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 1230 GMT match report - scorecards & stats
1 *#9 Elena Dementieva RUS d #2 Kim Clijsters BEL 6-4, 6-3 career matches Kim leads 9-3

click for Clijsters news photo search click for Dementieva news photo search click for Dementieva news photo search
Kim delivering a twist serve, Elena doing her Clijsters (splits) while about to slice a forehand, and Elena after match point

    Elena said: "It was a really great match... for a long time I couldn't beat Kim... I was putting everything I have into this match."

    Kim said: "Elena played a really good match today. She was very consistent and she was moving very well... she kept me on my back for a little bit and made me make my mistakes... she played better today."
2 #4 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #5 Nadia Petrova RUS 6(2)-7, 6-4, 6-3 career matches Justine leads 8-1

click for Nadia Petrova news photo search click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search
Nadia delivering a cannonball serve, Justine sending Nadia a twist serve, and Justine after match point

    Justine said: "In the 1st set, [Nadia] wasn't doing any mistakes, she was serving very well, and it took me a couple of games to really get in the rhythm. But in the 2nd set it was much better, and then in the 3rd I could play my best tennis."

    Nadia said: "It was definitely a very good match. I didn't play my best at the end because I was quite tired-- didn't recover from the last tournaments."

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 1230 GMT:
3 #2 Kim Clijsters BEL d #22 Maria Kirilenko 6-1, 6-4

click for Clijsters news photo search click for Fed Cup photos click for Clijsters news photo search
Kim serving to Maria, Maria serving to Kim, and Kim match point

4 #4 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL d #9 Elena Dementieva RUS 6-2, 6-0

click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search click for Dementieva news photo search click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search click for Henin-Hardenne news photo search
Justine's fine forehand volley, Elena reaching for a low backhand, Justine after match point, and Elena congratulating Justine

5 d28 Dinara Safina & d27 Maria Kirilenko RUS d dNR Kim Clijsters & dNR Justine Henin-Hardenne 7-6(4), 7-5

click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Dinara and Maria discussing pony tails vs braids between points

Russia:
#5 d31 Nadia Petrova
#9 d24 Elena Dementieva
#18 d28 Dinara Safina
#22 d27 Maria Kirilenko
Captain: Shamil Tarpischev

click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Dinara, Elena, Maria, & Nadia
Belgium:
#2 dNR Kim Clijsters
#4 dNR Justine Henin-Hardenne
#161 d924 Kirsten Flipkens
#370 d269 Caroline Maes
Captain: Carl Maes

click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Caroline, Kirsten, Cap'n Maes, Justine, & Kim
Italy 4 at France 1:
Palais des Sports Jean Weille, Nancy, FRA
indoor: red clay
Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 1200 GMT match report
1 #11 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #21 Nathalie Dechy FRA 6(5)-7, 6-3, 6-3

click for Schiavone news photo search click for Dechy news photo search click for Schiavone news photo search
Francesca showing good form on a forehand volley, Nathalie's backhand drive, and Francesca after match point

    Francesca said: "I was a bit tense but slowly things improved and I imposed my style. It was a tough game and I'm pleased to have got through it with a win."

    Nathalie said: "I can take a lot of positives. I wanted to dictate the game and managed to do that for a while. I just lacked some intensity, particularly towards the end."

2 #1 Amélie Mauresmo FRA d #20 Flavia Pennetta ITA 6-1, 6-1

click for Fed Cup photo gallery click for Mauresmo news photo search
Flavia lining up a backhand drive, and Amelie's backhand volley

    Amelie said: "I didn't let [Flavia] get breath from start to finish. It could be a long day tomorrow so it was good to complete this match without too many problems."

    Flavia said: "I wasn't at my best, but Mauresmo was perfect. She only made three mistakes in the whole match."

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 1100 GMT match report
3 #11 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #1 Amélie Mauresmo FRA 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4

click for Schiavone news photo search click for Mauresmo news photo search click for Schiavone news photo search click for Schiavone news photo search
Francesca's toss, Amelie's forehand, Francesca fielding a drop shot, and Francesca after match point

    Francesca said: "Considering the player I was up against and the problems I had to overcome, I would say this is my most beautiful win of my career...
    "The last few games of the second set were key. I showed courage when I was match point down and then managed to win the tie break. In the final set Amelie dropped her standard a little and I seized my chance."

4 #20 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #21 Nathalie Dechy FRA 6-4, 6-2

click for Dechy news photo search click for Pennetta news photo search click for Pennetta news photo search
Nathalie's toss, Flavia's backhand, and Flavia after match point

    Flavia said: "It's a very emotional moment for me. I was a little bit sad after yesterday because I didn't play a good game against Mauresmo, but winning the all-important rubber makes me very happy...
    "Francesca has been awesome this weekend. She's the [Italian] No. 1, and she did most of the hard work for us."

5 d53 Mara Santangelo & d78 Roberta Vinci ITA d d21 Emilie Loit & d176 Virginie Razzano FRA 6-1, 6-4

France:
#1 d35 Amélie Mauresmo
#21 d91 Nathalie Dechy
#51 d21 Emilie Loit
#59 d176 Virginie Razzano
Captain: Georges Goven

click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Nathalie, Amelie, Cap'n Goven, Virginie, & Emilie
Italy:
#11 d32 Francesca Schiavone
#20 d18 Flavia Pennetta
#35 d53 Mara Santangelo
#46 d78 Roberta Vinci
Captain: Corrado Barazzutti

click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Francesca, Flavia, Roberta, & Mara
USA 3 at Germany 2:
TC Ettenheim, Ettenheim, GER
outdoor: red clay
Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 1030 GMT: match report
1 *#75 Jamea Jackson USA d #14 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER 6-2, 3-6, 7-5

click for Jamea Jackson news photo search click for Fed Cup photo gallery click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Jamea launching a slice serve, Anna-Lena's forehand drive, and Jamea's backhand

    Anna-Lena is the higest-ranked player that 19-year-old Jamea has yet defeated. Jamea said: "I had a lot of confidence in my game. I played really well."

    Anna-Lena, a hard-hitter, tried high floating "moon balls" against Jamea. Anna-Lena said: "I talked with my coach about this tactic. Jackson likes flat balls, so I tried this strategy... I didn't play my best tennis. I was not able to play my game today.
    "I was very nervous. It started during the ceremony. It is a new situation for me to be the leading player, especially since we played at home. I have to learn to deal with that. But for this time I felt a lot of pressure. I was tight during the whole match."

2 #39 Jill Craybas USA d #52 Julia Schruff GER 4-6, 6-2, 7-5

click for Schruff news photo search click for Craybas news photo search
Julia's forehand, and Jill's backhand

    Jill said: "We both played great although I was struggling with my serve during the whole match. But I was able to come through."

    Julia said: "I played very good. I gave it all. When I had match point I should have made it. My lob had to be in... [an injury time-out at the beginning of the 3rd set was because] I had cramps in both legs, especially in the left."

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 0900 GMT:
3 #14 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER d #39 Jill Craybas USA 6-2, 7-5

click for Groenefeld news photo search click for Craybas news photo search click for Groenefeld news photo search
Anna-Lena's forehand, Jill's backhand, and Anna-Lena after winning a point

4 #75 Jamea Jackson USA d #104 Martina Muller 7-6(2), 6-2

click for Jackson news photo search
Jamea's backhand
5 d7 Anna-Lena Groenefeld & d64 Jasmin Woehr GER d d219 Vania King & d963 Shenay Perry USA 2-6, 6-4, 6-2

United States:
#39 d97 Jill Craybas
#75 d423 Jamea Jackson
#88 d963 Shenay Perry
#91 d219 Vania King
Captain: Zina Garrison
Germany:
#14 d7 Anna-Lena Groenefeld
#52 d129 Julia Schruff
#104 d102 Martina Muller
#846 d64 Jasmin Woehr
Captain: Barbara Rittner

click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Vania, Shenay, Jamea, Jill, Cap'n Garrison, Cap'n Rittner, Anna-Lena, Julia, Jasmin, & Martina
Austria 0 at Spain 5:
Club Español de Tenis, Valencia, ESP
outdoor: red clay
Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 1000 GMT: match report
1 #43 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP d #53 Sybille Bammer AUT 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-3

click for Fed Cup photo gallery click for Fed Cup photo gallery click for Dominguez Lino news photo search
Lourdes ready to slice a backhand, Sybille's backhand drive, and Lourdes after winning a point

2 #24 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #126 Yvonne Meusberger AUT 6-3, 7-5

click for Medina Garrigues news photo search click for Fed Cup photo gallery click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Anabel launching a backhand, Yvonne smershing a forehand, and Anabel after match point

    Yvonne said: "In the beginning, Anabel was playing a very heavy spin which was very hard for me. She had me running all over the court."

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 0900 GMT match report
3 #24 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #53 Sybille Bammer AUT 6-0, 6-3

click for Bammer news photo search click for Medina Garrigues news photo search click for Medina Garrigues news photo search
Sybille and Anabel launching left-and-right-handed backhands, and Anabel after match point

    Anabel said: "6-0 in the first set didn't reflect how difficult the match was for me. I found Sybille a more aggressive player than Yvonne."

    Sybille said: "I was playing my forehand with more pressure in practice this week, but it wasn't like that in the match. I did not play as good as I can."

4 #64 Maria Sanchez Lorenzo ESP d #334 Tamira Paszek AUT 6-4, 6(5)-7, 7-5

click for Sanchez news photo search click for Paszek news photo search
Maria Antonia delivering a backhand to Tamira,
and 15-year-old Tamira after the match, wondering how soon she gets to whup the big kids

5 d4 Virginia Ruano Pascual & d50 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP
   d d673 Yvonne Meusberger & d882 Sybille Bammer AUT 6-4, 6-2

Austria:
#53 d882 Sybille Bammer
#126 d673 Yvonne Meusberger
#334 d473 Tamira Paszek
#NR d109 Sandra Klemenschits
Captain: Alfred Tesar

click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Sandra, Yvonne, Tamira, & Sybille
Spain:
#24 d25 Anabel Medina Garrigues
#43 d50 Lourdes Dominguez Lino
#64 d113 Maria Antonia Sanchez Lorenzo
#73 d4 Virginia Ruano Pascual
Captain: Miguel Margets

click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Vivi (Virginia), Maria Antonia, Lourdes, & Anabel
World Group II & Zonal Groups:
Photos of some winners from April 22:

click for Hantuchova news photo search click for Sugiyama news photo search click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Daniela Hantuchova serving to Anne Keothavong in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Ai Sugiyama volleying a backhand
to Stephanie Vogele in Tokyo, Japan, and Karolina Sprem running to defeat Maria-Jose Argeri in Zagreb, Croatia

click for Na Li news photo search click for Fed Cup photo gallery
Na Li driving a backhand to Angelique Widjaja in Jakarta, Indonesia,
and Nicole Vaidisova delivering a backhand to Montinee Tangphong in Nonthaburi, Thailand

Photos of some winners from April 23:

click for Fed Cup photo gallery click for Fed Cup photo gallery click for Fed Cup photo gallery click for Sprem news photo search
Nicole Vaidisova celebrating her 17th birthday with some cake, and sending a backhand to Suchanan Vitraprasert in Nonthaburi, Nicole's
teammate Klara Koukalova after match point over Montinee Tangphong, and Karolina Sprem running to defeat Mariana Diaz-Oliva in Zagreb

click for Nakamura news photo search click for Nakamura news photo search click for Na Li news photo search click for Na Li news photo search
Aiko Nakamura launching a backhand to Nicole Riner in Tokyo, and after winning a point;
Na Li driving a backhand to Romana Tedjakusuma in Jakarta, and after winning a point


  Fed Cup News

    (Apr 18-19, 2006 revised) Former WTA # 8 Alicia Molik has been left off the Australian Fed Cup team which will play in the Asia / Oceania Zone Group I round robin competition in Seoul, South Korea, April 19-22. The decision was made by Aussie Fed Cup captain David Taylor-- who is also Alicia's coach. The Australian team will consist of Samantha Stosur, Nicole Pratt, Rennae Stubbs, and Casey Dellacqua. Sportal story
    Alicia has no complaints about the decision. Alicia said: "I haven't played solid matches for a year now. I've really only been playing five or six weeks now from not even picking up a racquet. It's important that [Taylor] knows what every player is going to bring to the court day in, day out, and at the moment I'm not showing that form consistently.
    "I feel very healthy, I feel very fit, but as far as match play and putting the ball on a dime, I'm not doing that this point in time. Feeling good and hitting the ball well are completely different things." AAP story
    In March, 2006, when she was one of five ladies (one extra) named to the team, Alicia said: "At the start of the year, I was thinking I'd be having the whole year off. But I have been feeling great and practising for a couple of weeks and I believe I'm hitting the ball well. I can't wait. I'm really pumped." WTA story
    In October, 2005, Alicia decided to take a break from the WTA Tour, due to balance and vision difficulties caused by a viral infection of the middle and inner ear (vestibular neuronitis), which began to plague her the previous April.
    Last October, Alicia said: "At this stage I think I need a long period of time away, first of all to become healthy again, to get over my illness, and second of all to remain happy and to do things to occupy myself.
    "I've been fighting this for a long time now. I've done the best I could possibly have done, and I think it's time to do something for myself for a change. I want to take a lot of stress out of my life." WTA story

    (Mar 20-29, 2006) Shamil Tarpischev's Russian squad defending their Fed Cup title in the 1st round against Belgium (April 22-23 in Liege) will consist of # 7 Nadia Petrova, # 8 Elena Dementieva, # 20 Dinara Safina, and # 22 Maria Kirilenko, on the team for the first time.
    Although the Belgian team has not yet been named, # 2 Kim Clijsters says she will play (Kim is playing doubles in Miami to prepare), and # 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne is expected to play as well. In the fall of 2005, Justine said she would not play, due to persistant injury problems, and Kim said she would not play if Justine did not. Justine later said she might play if she were healthy. Justine has been having some knee trouble recently, but feels her knee will fare better on clay courts.

    (Mar 8, 2006) At the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, Anastasia Myskina and Maria Sharapova have both announced that they will not be on the Russian Fed Cup team when it opens its title defense against Belgium in April. Anastasia was a leader on the teams that won the cup the past two seasons; Maria has not yet played Fed Cup, but has said she would like to some day.
    The opening Fed Cup "ties" will follow the 2-week mini-major tourneys at Indian Wells and Miami. Maria said: "My body is just not ready after two tough tournaments to go and play Fed Cup. It's my own personal decision, and I'm not going to be influenced by what anyone else does. I won't be forced into it. My body just isn't ready to go from hard courts to clay courts that quickly."
    Anastasia had previously indicated that she would pass up Fed Cup play this year. Anastasia said: "It's too much for me. This year I want to play for myself. I've played every time they asked me to play again, but it's been too much now."

    (Oct 31, 2005) # 6 Justine Henin-Hardenne stated that, if she is healthy, she might change her mind and decide to participate in the 2006 Fed Cup.

    (Oct 4, 2005-revised Oct 5) Former WTA # 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne has announced that she will not play Fed Cup for Belgium in 2006. Justine said: "This year has been hard enough as regards my health and I want first of all to see if I can last a whole season... I want to regain the number one ranking in 2006. I don't think it is impossible." Justine's compatriot Kim Clijsters reportedly has stated that she would not play Fed Cup next year if Justine did not. About Kim's announcement that she would retire at age 24, Justine said: "I can understand why Kim has chosen to only play for two more years, but that is not in my character. I will try to carry on for as long as possible." Reuters story
    Anastasia Myskina, who led Russia to their first Fed Cup win in 2004, and was an important team member in their 2005 victory, might not play Fed Cup next year. On Tuesday, Oct 4, according to Reuters, Anastasia said: "I want to step aside now and let others have the chance." Reuters story
    On Wednesday, Oct 5, Russian Tennis Federation president and Fed Cup Captain Shamil Tarpischev said: "Myskina has done it all for Russia, therefore she has earned the right to say no. But I don't think it's proper to say that she quit the team for good. Myskina is the ultimate team player and if we ever needed her to play, I'm sure she would say yes." Reuters story
    Also on Wednesday, Anastasia clarified her postion, saying she would play if needed. Anastasia said: "I think it came out wrong in translation. I'm just stepping back for a while. It doesn't mean I will never play again. But it would be good to give other players a chance - like Dinara [Safina], who played superbly against me today." AFP story
    Unfortunately, some press stories are again claiming that Anastasia has has a "bitter public squabble" with her compatriot # 1 Maria Sharapova, and doesn't want to play Fed Cup if Maria plays. In fact there has been no feud between Anastasia and Maria at all, although Anastasia (as do some others) finds Maria's father Yuri Sharapov's demeanor at matches disconcerting, and has said she would not want to play if Yuri is in the stands.

    (Sep 28, 2005) 2005 Captain Zina Garrison will again lead the US Fed Cup team in 2006. The US will face Germany in the Fed Cup WG I 1st round (QFs) on April 22-23; the venue has not yet been decided.

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