Russia responded today though, as Kuz destroyed Flavs (60 63), which set up a crucial rubber between The Boss and Chevy Nova. The match went the distance and for a while there, Tarpy was once again looking like a genius. But despite Pavs having two set points in the first, Boss Lady was able to weather the storm and secure the tie for Italy, 76 46 62.
So it'll be Italy vs. the wily Americans, who pulled out the shocker of the weekend. It wasn't just that they beat the Czech Republic. It was the *way* they did it, on the back of 19 year old Alexa Glatch, and a spectacular comeback by Liezel and Bethanie from match point down in the doubles rubber. A true team effort which starts at the top with Captain MJ's leadership.
I was scratching my head on Friday when MJ tapped Glatch over Oudin for the tie. Clearly I've been drinking the Zina Kool-Aid and I should know better than to quetion El Capitan. Glatch, ranked #114, took out both Iveta (#29) and Kvitova (#48) in straight sets, dropping only 6 games in the process. Impressive stuff considering it was her first Fed Cup and it was an away tie with a boisterous Czech crowd.
With Bethanie dropping the two singles rubbers, it was time for bit of redemption. With the tie going to the decisive doubles rubber the Czechs quickly found themselves with a 6-2 5-2, match point. But then the wheels came off after Peschke sailed a second serve return long, and Bethanie and Liezel found their form, coming back to take the second set in a tiebreaker and reeling off a 6-1 final set for the win.
So Italy vs. U.S. in Italy on what I presume will be clay. Yeah, good luck with that, MJ.