Fed Cup Preview – USA vs. Russia
When the US won its quarterfinal Fed Cup tie over Germany to set up this match against Russia, everyone thought it was going to be a blockbuster. There was talk of Lindsay Davenport and the Williams sisters traveling to Moscow to take on the extremely talented Russian team that could have featured Sharapova, Kuznetsova, Chakvetadze, and Dementieva.
Instead, the US team comes in with a squad of relative unknowns when it comes to tennis on a national scale. Russia, on the other hand, will have a couple of there top players, but won’t be a full strength either.
Let’s take a look at the rosters, with their WTA rankings next to their names:
- Vania King (#115)
- Ahsha Rolle (#145)
- Madison Brengle (#249)
- Liezel Huber (#1 in doubles)
- Svetlana Kuznetsova (#4)
- Anna Chakvetadze (#7)
- Vera Zvonareva (#14)
- Elena Vesnina (#44)
So, as you can see the lowest ranked Russian (Vesnina), is still ranked much higher than any of the Americans. We don’t exactly have our A or B team heading over to Russia, but you can’t really blame Davenport and the Williams sisters either. It is hard for the top players to take out to travel across the globe, especially when all three of them are playing limited schedules already. Of course it would be nice if they would, but you simply cannot expect them to.
As for this match, the Russians are going to be heavy, heavy favorites. They are playing on their home soil with three of the top 15 ranked players in the world. King and Rolle will play singles for the Americans and will take on Chakvetadze and Kuznetsova in the first matches.
In 1980 the US Olympic hockey team needed a miracle to beat the Russians, it’s going to take nothing short of that for the US Fed Cup team to win this as well.