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08 November 2010

Blog: Player versus captain


NEWS ARTICLE

By 

  • Sandra Harwitt

Photo: Paul ZimmerCaptain Corrado Barazzutti (ITA)

Success has come easily for Italian Fed Cup captain Corrado Barazzutti, who has led his team to three titles in four final appearances since 2006.

Of course, it hasn’t hurt that he has the most dedicated of players to get the job done – Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

But Barazzutti also has a winning Davis Cup history playing on the Italian squad that won the trophy in 1976 over Chile, and was on two other final squads. In all, Barazzutti holds a 41-21 record in Davis Cup action.

So what’s better? Being a Davis Cup player or Fed Cup captain? That was too tough a question for Barazzutti to answer.

“Is much different,” Barazzutti said.  “Obviously, if I think when I was a player, I prefer to be player because I was younger (laughter). But, anyway, is great to be captain of this team really. Is a lot emotion.  But they give you really lots.  I like captain really.”


 

A patriotic fashionista

Melanie Oudin was ready to play right down to her sneakers when she finally got on the court to face Francesca Schiavone in Sunday’s third rubber.

Oudin’s sneakers were created to her specifications and they were undeniably patriotic straight down to being red, white and blue, and having a small “Go USA” banner and American flag on the back of the shoes.

“I go to myadidas.com and it’s just a blank colored shoe and then I design it,” Oudin told FedCup.com. “I pick all the colors, write whatever I want on the back and I even put an American flag on the back there. I send an email to them and they make it for me. These are my Fed Cup sneakers.”

Oudin, who kept the USA’s chances alive in the Fed Cup final when she posted an impressive 63 61 victory over the reigning French Open champion to give the American’s a point in the tie, knows her fashion style.

“I like American Eagle and I’m also shopping at Ann Taylor Loft and sometimes Macy’s and J Crew,” Oudin said. “I don’t like too girly a stuff. I used to be way more of a tom boy and was a jean and t-shirt kind of girl.

“But because of doing this I’ve had to wear more dresses and heels, so I’ve gotten myself into more preppy looking clothes. I’m more of a simpler person, not too many flowers on my clothes. I like the way Jessica Biel dresses.”


 

A treasured trophy

Ten years after Billie Jean King captained and Lindsay Davenport played on the winning 2000 U.S. Fed Cup team the two former Fed Cup stars received a replica trophy of the Fed Cup to honour that achievement.

In 2000, the Fed Cup was played under a different format and the players from the winning squad had not received replicas.

The ITF is bestowing those replicas on the team members this year and gave King and Davenport there’s in an on-court ceremony at the Fed Cup final on Sunday.

“That was fun,” said Davenport, of receiving the replica trophy. “It’s beautiful. It’s hard to believe it was 10 years ago. It doesn’t seem that long ago. I remember that entire week perfectly.”

Three other members of the 2000 squad – Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati and Lisa Raymond – will be sent their replicas by mail.



A little night music

BNP Paribas, the official sponsor of Fed Cup, came up with a very unique media party concept at this year’s Fed Cup final.

They held the media event, to which ITF and USTA staff were also invited, on the rooftop of Petco Stadium, the home of the San Diego Padres baseball team.

While an excellent buffet was provided, guests not only mingled but had the pleasure of attending the Macy Gray and John Legend concert that was going on at the venue simultaneously.

A great time was had by all – a little night music, food, drink and conversation made for the perfect mix.


 

Burgin for broadcasting

Elise Burgin, the newest voice to be heard on Fed Cup Radio, might sound familiar to you. And it’s not because she’s been doing TV and radio commentary the past few years.

Burgin, a native of Baltimore who now resides in Harrisburg, PA., is a former player and member of the U.S. Fed Cup team. She played in three Fed Cup ties starting in 1985 and had a 4-1 winning record (1-1 in singles and 3-0 in doubles).

“Oh my God, playing Fed Cup was one of the highlights of my career,” Burgin said on Sunday. “It doesn’t matter who you are, a middle-of-the-road player or a great, playing for your country is unique.

“Our uniforms had an American flag on the skirt – I still have my outfits – and when they say Game USA, it just hits you that you’re playing for your country and it’s like, ‘Wow.”

Burgin played in the 1985 final which Czechoslovakia won 2-1 – she lost to Helena Sukova 63 67 64 and teamed with Sharon Walsh to beat Andrea Holikova and Regina Masikova 62 63.

She helped the team to the final by playing in the semifinals against Australia, beating Anne Minter 63 64 in singles, and teaming with Kathy Jordan to take out Liz Smylie and Wendy Turnbull 06 61 64.

In 1987, Burgin teamed with Zina Garrison to beat Britons Jo Durie and Anne Hobbs 75 75 in the quarterfinals.

Burgin was one of three players to hail from Baltimore during her time on the tour. Pam Shriver, Andrea Leand and Burgin all grew up together.


 

Ahoy, I see land from the sea

San Diego has the distinction of being the first spot where a European explorer arrived on the west coast of the United States. Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, exploring for neighboring Spain, arrived in San Diego Bay in September 1542.

Cabrillo National Monument, where Cabrillo was believed to have first landed as he cruised in his ship the San Salvador up the coast from Mexico, is the place to go to experience Cabrillo’s story as the explorer of the west coast. Each year, they reenact Cabrillo’s landing in San Diego Bay at the National Monument.

The site was named a national monument in 1913 and is also the home of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, which stands at the entrance of San Diego Bay. The lighthouse was in business for 36 years, but while it seemed like the ideal location to be built, it turned out not to be so.

The problem was that the constant fog in the area obscured the light meant to guide the ships in the area, so it was eventually abandoned. It’s been restored to its original glory and sightseers are welcomed to visit.

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    Sandra Harwitt

    Sandra, an American sportswriter for longer than she's willing to admit, has travelled the world to cover tennis for major publications, such as ESPN.com, The Miami Herald and Associated Press. Her biggest problem of late is managing to pack worldwide purchases into suitcases and still meet the airline weight restrictions.

 

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