Capra and Gibbs Join U.S. Fed Cup Team's Title Quest
by Colette Lewis
, 29 October 2009
An invitation to join the United States Fed Cup team as hitting partners is exciting enough, but Beatrice Capra and Nicole Gibbs have additional reasons to savor the experience: it's the finals, it's in Italy, and they are going together.
Capra, 17 and Gibbs, 16, close friends throughout their junior careers, could barely contain their joy at being chosen by Federation Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez and USTA head of women's tennis Ola Malmqvist to accompany the team to Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. The U.S. is seeking its first title since 2000 with a team consisting of Serena Williams, Alexa Glatch, Melanie Oudin and Liezel Huber, who will face the Italian team on red clay.
Gibbs, who lives in Manhattan Beach, Calif. and trains at the USTA's West Coast facility in nearby Carson, learned of her invitation from USTA National Coach Tom Gullikson.
"I was sitting down with him in practice, and he said, 'you've been invited to hit with the Fed Cup players in Italy and you have a tournament conflict, but I think it would be wise to take that offer,'" Gibbs said.
"Of course I was really happy to get to go, and didn't care much about the tournament at that point. Then I got a call from Mary Joe about a week later, and she gave me the details."
Capra learned of her selection from Malmqvist after responding to what she thought was a routine voice mail.
"When I called him back, he told me, and you have no idea, I was so happy," Capra said. "It's going to be really fun."