Monday, April 27, 2009

Francesca Schiavone’s Fed Cup heroics

 Francesca Schiavone
photo credit: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images
Zina Garrison’s lawsuit for unfair dismissal just got a lot tougher as Mary-Jo Fernandez’s no-names came back from the death to advance to the Fed Cup final. At a set and 5-2 down in the doubles it looked all over and then the Czechs took a deep breath and blew it. Team USA turned it all around and will play Italy in the final. Yes, Italy.

Can we blame Tarpischev? The Russian tennis supremo dumped the underperforming Chakvetadze and pushed young Pavlyuchenkova into her first big match and lost Russia the tie. Remember this is the nation that left the world number one (and Elena Dementieva) on the sidelines and ended up having to rely on seventeen year old Pavlyuchenkova to get them through. Surely Safina or Dementieva would have chewed Schiavone up. Instead Tarpischev picked the out of form trio of Chakvetadze, Kuznetsova and Petrova. Congrats to Italy. After the Kuz destroyed Pennetta it must have looked ominous for Italy but Francesca Schiavone has a huge heart and just wore down the free hitting Pavlyuchenkova. Surely Italy on clay will be favourites for November unless the Williams sisters can be persuaded to play and even then clay’s not really their thing. Let’s keep that Glatch though.

Meanwhile Rafael Nadal won another trophy somewhere. Remember when it was boring with Roger Federer winning everything? Looks like we do it over with biceps.

Poor Alize Cornet has now lost six from six for France and was in tears again after collapsing in the final set against Cibulkova. Good match though, especially if you like raw emotion. France came through with Mauresmo beating Hantuchova and some doubles.

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