Last weekend, the “no name team” of Melanie Oudin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands played singles and Mattek-Sands teamed with newly-minted U.S. citizen Liezel Huber in the deciding win over the Russian women.
The United States will now host Italy (who beat the U.S. in the finals last year) in November.
Both Williams sisters were “unavailable” for the matches this year; but Coach Mary Joe Fernandez held open the final singles slot until just two days before the semi-finals in case one of them could play.
Should she do the same in November, trying to put together the best possible team for the U.S, sell more tickets to the event, and get higher TV ratings for the women’s Fed Cup…. or should she now tell the winning no-name team they are the ones and to plan their schedules?
In the post match interview, South African born Liezel Huber emotionally talked about how much she loves this country and felt “she owed it to America” to become a citizen and play for the Fed Cup team.
Young Melanie Oudin has clearly voiced her opinion, saying “I think that is the fairest thing to do, is to bring the team that’s gotten you there. You should have enough faith in that team to be able to bring them to the finals.”
My whole life, I have felt I would rather have the average player on my team, who tries his hardest; rather than the superstar, who plays when and if they want. So for me, it is a no-brainer: Tell Melanie, Bethanie, and Liezel to pack their bags to play!