Italian Fed Cup captain Carrado Barazzutti has received the 2013 Fed Cup Award of Excellence. Barrazutti. The annual award goes to an individual who represents the ideals and spirit of Fed Cup. Barazzutti led Italy to its first Fed Cup final in history, in 2006. Italy won that year, and also in 2009 and 2010; the Italian team was the runner-up in 2007. It was Barazzutti, incidentally, who coached Italian Fed Cup team regular Francesca Schiavone during the 2010 French Open, which she won.
Speaking of Fed Cup--unless something really dramatic occurs tomorrow--the player who will probably be most talked about is Alexandra Panova. Yes, she let four match points slip away and her opponent was injured, but it was Panova's first Fed Cup match, and she gave it all she had. She said afterwards that she was disappointed that her serve had let her down. I'm sure she's very disappointed, but Panova's performance is the kind of thing that makes Fed Cup so special.
Caroline Wozniacki says that Thomas Hogstedt will be her coach in 2013. Such "coaching" arrangements have not worked in the past because Piotr Wozniacki has always assumed the authority of a coach, even when he wasn't the "official" coach.
I miss the Fed Cup blogs. What happened to them? They were always so much fun to read. The live blog is still being pubished, but it's the only one.
Heather Watson said recently that she had such a tough time coming back and competing after a long bout with glandular fever, she actually considered retiring from the sport.
Sugarpova is great, but how about some chocolate?
Look who showed up in Sardinia!