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Zina Garrison Blogs For U.S. Fed Cup

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Entry #1 - Thursday, April 17
Entry #2 - Wedneday, April 23
Entry #3 - Thursday, April 24

Entry #4 - Friday, April 25

There were no surprises at the draw ceremony today with the Russian lineup. Vania will face Anna in the first match tomorrow and then Ahsha plays Svetlana.

Vania and Anna played the first match last year in Stowe, which Anna won. I think Anna was playing extremely well in that match, however, I think Vania is playing much better now than she was then.

Then it will be Ahsha’s first Fed Cup match and it is going to be interesting to see how she handles everything. Ahsha and Svetlana have never played but they have similar styles. They both have big forehands, bomb serves and as far as power is concerned, they are very strong.

World rankings do not always tell the whole story about how good a player is. There could be a lot of reasons why someone is ranked where they are such as lack of playing time due to injury. Ahsha had a knee injury right after she had such a great US Open in 2007 and jumped up in the rankings - that takes away some momentum right there.

For tonight, the players are all getting together and having their own private dinner. I like to let them have fun, relax and just get ready the night before play starts.

Entry #5 - Saturday, April 26

In Vania’s match today against Anna, I thought a couple points here and there and Vania would have won. Immediately after the match, as we were walking back to the locker room, I told her, ‘That should have been your match.’

In the second match, Ahsha faced Svetlana and you know Svetlana is going to play well. It (clay) is one of her favorite surfaces, she plays well on it and she is a Grand Slam winner. And Ahsha realized she could actually stay with her.

The score does not indicate how close the match was - there were really good points in there and it was not like Ahsha got blown off the court. If someone looks at the scores, it looks like she got blown away but it was actually a pretty good match.

I was very proud of both Vania and Ahsha today. They did just what we asked – they went out and played their hardest.

Tomorrow, Vania and Svetlana play first. I told Vania for tomorrow, ‘When you have opportunities, you have to take them.’ Anytime you play a top ten player you are only going to get one or two opportunities here and there. Top ten players are not missing often so when they do, you have to take advantage of those chances.

Tonight, the girls are all in good spirits. They know they went out there, tried their best and laid it all on the line.

Posted by Shelia

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