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Old 04-27-10, 06:50 AM
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Bender Bending Rodriguez, Esq.
 
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Jon Wertheim: Team USA shines in Fed Cup semifinals

1. Cup chatter: The Fed Cup is not just what Roger wears when he plays hockey. It suffers the same scheduling issues as its brother, the Davis Cup, yet lacks the history and sponsorship. It's had a hard time attracting the top players and squeezing itself into a crowded calendar. But like a dogged counterpuncher, the Fed Cup keeps fighting. And it's done well for itself recently. The events last weekend -- occurring during a dead spot on the WTA schedule -- drew familiar names and generated some compelling matches. Despite the sudden absence of Justine Henin on account of a broken finger, the Belgium-Estonia throwdown (note the pains we go to, avoiding use the confusing phrase "tie") drew a capacity crowd in Hasselt. Thanks to the heroics of Daniela Hantuchova, the Slovak Republic upset Jelena Jankovic and Serbia. Melanie Oudin, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Liezel Huber joined forces to stage a gripping comeback/upset of a Russian side led by Elena Dementieva. Tracy Austin was in my living room. Overall, an encouraging weekend for the competition.

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