Billie Jean King sabotages US Fed Cup Team with inane ruling aginst Jennifer Capriati - U2 Feedback

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Old 04-27-2002, 12:37 AM   #1
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Billie Jean King sabotages US Fed Cup Team with inane ruling aginst Jennifer Capriati

Dispute over additional practice will result in forfeit

ESPN.com news services

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jennifer Capriati was dropped from the U.S. Fed Cup squad Friday night for scheduling a private practice session in violation of captain Billie Jean King's team policy.

"The Fed Cup competition is comprised of team play, and our team's rules apply to all players to ensure a team concept," King said on the eve the Americans' first-round match against Austria.

"We are disappointed that Jennifer did not agree to comply with our closed, team-only practice policy, and as a result, (she) was excused from the team."

With the second-ranked Capriati out, the United States will forfeit Saturday's second singles match against Evelyn Fauth in the best-of-five series at Olde Providence Racquet Club.

"I am extremely upset about being dismissed," Capriati said in a statement released Friday night.

"I was looking forward to representing my country in this prestigious international competition, and I had enthusiastically accepted the invitation from the USTA to participate. I considered this a great honor. I am so disappointed by the actions the USTA has taken regarding my status, and it is important that I clarify the circumstances surrounding their decision.

"It never occurred to me that little-known policies that conflicted with my serious preparation for upcoming tour events would result in this ending.

"I arrived in Charlotte on Monday to begin the practice sessions with the team. That's when I was first informed of the team rules concerning outside practice. None of this information had been given to me prior to my arrival in Charlotte.

"Still ... I chose to stay with the team and abide by the rules, as outlined by the captain. These rules included the fact that all practice sessions were closed, and that not all team practices were mandatory. I obeyed these rules as a team member.

"Today was the last practice date. This morning I fulfilled all of my public relations and promotional obligations to the team, and I followed that by attending the team practice.

"On my own time, following this morning's practice session, I decided that I wanted additional practice in advance of tomorrow's match. Looking beyond this weekend's Fed Cup matches, I am also preparing for some very important tournaments, including the defense of my title at the French Open.

"In response to the team captain, I informed her that I had booked my own practice session with a hitting partner and my coach. I was informed that this was against the team rules, and that if I continued with this practice, I would be dismissed from the team.

"I strongly protested this directive, and consequently was dismissed from the team before this practice even took place.

"I never did practice and do not believe I did anything to hurt the team. I obeyed the rules as I understood them, and fulfilled the obligations I had to the team. It is amazing to me that I am being penalized so severely for simply wanting to prepare as best I can for the Federation Cup and my other commitments."

Monica Seles will face Austria's Barbara Schwartz in the singles opener Saturday. In place of the forfeited match, American Lisa Raymond will play Daniela Kix in an eight-game pro set exhibition.

The Americans are trying to win their 18th title after withdrawing from the event last year in the wake of Sept. 11.

The U.S. team did not attempt to win its third straight title last October, citing security concerns for opting not to travel to Madrid for the final following the terrorist attacks.

The United States is the top seed in the event and heavily favored to beat Austria even without Capriati. The winner will play the Czech Republic-Croatia winner in a second-round match July 20-21.

Austria will be without Barbara Schett, its top player, who opted not to play in the Fed Cup to concentrate on getting ready for next month's French Open.


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I usually have enormous respect for Billie Jean, but this was horrible judgment, and I can't help but think this decision was part egotistical. Not only did she sacrifce the future of the team over something that very easily could have been resolved, but she went out of her way to embarrass and humiliate Capriati. Very disappointing actions from someone I thought was above that sort of thing, Billie Jean knows better, and so maybe Jen was being slightly selfish in thinking of her singles play, but she wasn't doing this to show up her teammates or be difficult, it was just something she thought would help her stay at her best -- which certainly won't hurt the Fed Cup team, for christ sake. Davis Cup, Fed Cup... we invent new ways all the time to botch these things.

hmmm... Betty Jean King?




[This message has been edited by The Wanderer (edited 04-26-2002).]
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Old 04-27-2002, 04:17 AM   #2
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shit that is pretty savage...i hate to think what mrs king wouldve done if shed ever been captain of a team with mark phillipousis in it!
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Old 04-27-2002, 05:05 AM   #3
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BJK is a complete dumbass. She failed to make the realization that this is a "team" in name only. Tennis is still an individualized sport with players that have different schedules and needs. If she takes a player out of her routine to satisfy some idiotic rule, the chance of a poor performance increases.

By dismissing Capriati, she doesn't hurt Jennifer as much as she hurts the team's chances of success. Ironically, chances of success that Capriati was trying to improve by hitting a few extra balls with her coach. Where's the logic here?

BJK needs to wake up and discover that the players are not playing for her, they are playing for their country. What a bitch.
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Old 04-27-2002, 04:06 PM   #4
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What Clark said. Here here.
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Old 04-28-2002, 09:46 AM   #5
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I had to read it 3 times before I actually believed it
what a stupid thing to do

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Old 04-28-2002, 06:32 PM   #6
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On the face of it, I'd say that Billie Jean King was on crack when she cut Capriati from the team.

But Monica Seles has gone on the record to say that she agreed with King's decision, and Seles isn't the type to ruffle feathers unnecessarily, so maybe there is something to it.
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Old 04-29-2002, 01:20 AM   #7
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either that or Capriati is a perfect scapegoat, considering Seles said this after a poor performance against Barbara Schwartz, culminating with Austria's sweep of the matchup today, it's nice after you play poorly to be able to blame it on someone else

anyway, we'll soon find out what the USTA thinks of this, since BJ King was quoted today as saying, "I would imagine that probably as long as I'm captain, she won't be back, but that's just speculation." since it now seems that the Williams sisters are completely unwilling to play Fed Cup, if they don't include Capriati, that will mean the 3 best Americans are not competing -- starting to resemble US Davis Cup here (for years there was no Sampras, no Agassi)
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Old 04-29-2002, 05:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
either that or Capriati is a perfect scapegoat, considering Seles said this after a poor performance against Barbara Schwartz, culminating with Austria's sweep of the matchup today, it's nice after you play poorly to be able to blame it on someone else

Well, it looks like the entire team is using Capriati as a scapegoat--they're pretty unanimous in supporting King's decision. Quite strange.
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