Monday, April 29, 2002

Team follows Capriati home

Austria ousts U.S. in Federation Cup after star dismissed

The Associated Press

        CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kicking Jennifer Capriati off the Fed Cup team cost the United States a chance at the title and led to an embarrassing first-round defeat to Austria.

        The Americans, winners of a record 17 titles, were eliminated Sunday when Barbara Schwartz upset Fed Cup rookie Meghann Shaughnessy, the fill-in at No.1 singles following Capriati's ouster for breaking a team rule prohibiting her from practicing on her own.

        The decision will undoubtedly be criticized now that the Americans are out of play, but King said she had no regrets.

        “Absolutely not, we're a great team and every single person is on the same page with this,” said King, who added that Capriati declined an offer to speak to the captain after her dismissal.

        Schwartz, ranked 75th in the world, followed Saturday's victory over Monica Seles with a 4-6, 7-6 (7), 9-7 win over Shaughnessy to give Austria its clinching third win in the best-of-five match.

        Said Shaughnessy: “I'm disappointed it came to this, there's no reason why we shouldn't have had four people here with the same goal in mind.”

        King said she doubted Capriati would be back on the Fed Cup team next year: “I would imagine that probably as long as I'm captain, she won't be back, but that's just speculation.”

        • Kim Clijsters, ranked No.3 in the world, pulled out of Belgium's Fed Cup matches against Australia because of a shoulder injury.

        RODDICK WINS: Andy Roddick outslugged Pete Sampras to successfully defend his title in the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship, rolling to a 7-6 (9), 6-3 victory Sunday.

        The 19-year-old Roddick had 13 aces to 12 for Sampras, who was trying to win a tournament for the first time since his seventh Wimbledon title in 2000. Sampras is winless in 25 events.

        “Obviously, it's so much fun to play against someone who was one of my heroes growing up,” Roddick said. “It's fun when you can come out and hit some balls.”

        GODO OPEN: Gaston Gaudio won his first title Sunday, beating Albert Costa 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 in the final at Barcelona.

        BRUGUERA RETIRES: Two-time French Open champion Sergi Bruguera retired Sunday after an unsuccessful attempt to return to tennis from a string of injuries.


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