In order to determine the order of play against Ukraine in the Fed Cup World Cup play-offs, the Australian and Ukrainian teams enlisted the help of the Banks Rowing Club. Boats bearing the names of Ukrainian team members on their bows raced on the Yarra River in Melbourne. Olga Savchuk's boat won the race; hence, she played Jarmila Groth in the first rubber.
Erasmus Pelli, the vice-mayor of Lugano, hit some balls with Patty Schnyder during a "kidstennis" event held last week in observance of the Fed Cup play-offs.
Maria Sharapova has expressed interest in joining the Basketballers' Wives Club. The club was founded by Australian Fed Cup coach Nicole Bradtke, who actually said: "We're reasonably tall girls, so we need men with extra height. We can wear our high heels." Sorry, all you men who are under six feet tall--you're out of luck.
And, while we're on the subject of sexism, the Slovak Republic's Fed Cup team members were told by the master of ceremonies at the official dinner that they appeared to be part of a beauty contest as much as a tennis contest. The team members were then invited to parade in cat-walk fashion in front of all the guests. They declined.
As promised, Andrea Petkovic did not dance after she won her rubber against Christina McHale. The Petko Dance is really done.
Team USA has won the most Fed Cup titles--17--in history. However, if Melanie Oudin loses the first rubber on Sunday, the USA will be relegated to World Group II.