I'm not convinced Melanie Oudin will ever win a major. Definitely not Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
So, after mocking endlessly the decision to make Mary Joe Fernandez the captain of the team, I have to commend the woman. I don't know how she does it -- and by "it" I mean something just a little less miraculous than squeezing blood out of a turnip -- but she's doing it.
I normally wouldn't take the time to watch Fed Cup, because the ITF doesn't take the time to do it right. But once I watched Mattek-Sands snatch victory out of her own melted-down nerves in the singles, I was hooked. Then to watch her come up the hero of the tie was just a surprise. Not because of the tube socks, either. THEY BEAT RUSSIA, for crying out loud! Yes, a Russian team without Svetlana Kuznetsova, Dinara Safina or even Maria Sharapova (because there are no Olympics this year -- and to be fair, because she's coming back from injury), but you would think Elena Dementieva could have handled this one all by herself and you'd also think a young Russian trumps a young American nine times out of ten. Wrong and wrong.
But now, a word to Fernandez. Mary Joe, I might have been a little harsh about your hiring in the past. I usually don't apologies (on account of the whole "attitude" thing), but ... damn, I still can't do it. I still can't figure out how they picked you, but you're saying or doing something right. Two finals with you at the helm. I gotta say that when I heard you were holding out at the last moment for the Williams sisters, I found it a touch pathetic. (Never let them see you beg.) You're giving the U.S. results somehow, and that's a lot more than I can say for ol' Zina Garrison, who is suing the USTA for racial discrimination. That might be true, but she also got no results. That might have had something to do with her getting canned.
I digress again. Way to go, Mary Joe. If I were a Fed Cup fan, I would be rooting for you. As it is, I don't think I can fit the event on my calendar. Mainly because I don't know when it is.