The US women are just one tie away from rejoining the tennis elites of the World Group in Fed cup play. Serena Williams put the US over the top by defeating Anastasiya Yakimova in 3 sets this afternoon. The Americans soft play and the refusal of the Williams sisters to participate in the past relegated them to the subdivision of sub-par tennis nations. They have now climbed from the trough.
The American Spirit has risen up for our USA women. Relegation hurts. It’s as if your children were placed in a slow-learners program and you’re headed down to the school pretty quickly to take some names and tear it up. We may not be #1, but you better not put us in some developmental sideshow, playing hitting partner to those who are not yet ready for prime-time. Well, the US women played prime-time tennis this weekend. And by the time they play World Group ties next year, we may have a few new faces and a veteran in Christina McHale to compete in the top tier for years to come.
Azarenka’s decision not to play due to a back injury took all the competitive juices out of this tie before the first rubber began. When it did begin, Christina McHale’s opening victory over Yakimova yesterday let Belarussians fans know that this was not going to be an exciting weekend for their side. Instead of watching the new world #1 come into the American’s home and throw her weight around, Serena Williams and Christina McHale shut the door on any narrative that would allow the tiny former Soviet bloc nation to experience some silver lining from their Massachusetts visit.
At this very moment, Christina McHale is on her way to a straight sets victory over Darya Kustova and her second straight point in a Fed Cup tie. Things are looking up in the world of American tennis!