MOSCOW: Amelie Mauresmo crushed American Meghann Shaughnessy 6-2, 6-1 to seal a second Fed Cup title for France, who ended up 4-1 winners in the final yesterday.
The world number four’s victory in the first match of the day gave the French an unassailable 3-0 lead and the second singles match, in which Emilie Loit thumped Alexandra Stevenson 6-4, 6-2, and doubles clash were dead rubbers.
After clinching the tie Mauresmo, in tears, ran off court to embrace France captain Guy Forget.
“Yes, I was crying because it was very emotional moment,” the 24-year-old said afterwards. “We were not very lucky in the last couple of years as we have tried very hard but just couldn’t make it, so this is a very big win for us.”
The Americans, who were missing several of their top players, managed to avoid a whitewash when Martina Navratilova and Lisa Raymond beat French substitutes Loit and Stephanie Cohen-Aloro 6-4, 6-0 in the doubles.
The US defeat had ended Navratilova’s unique record of never being on the losing side in a Fed Cup tie, which stretched back to her debut with Czechoslovakia in 1975.
But the 47-year-old, the oldest player ever to compete in the competition, still extended her personal tally of Fed Cup match victories without defeat to 39 with yesterday’s win in the doubles.
With France leading 2-0 after Saturday’s singles matches, in which Mauresmo thrashed Raymond 6-4, 6-3 and Mary Pierce beat Shaughnessy 6-3, 3-6, 8-6, the Americans needed to win all three of yesterday’s rubbers.
But Mauresmo dominated Shaughnessy from the outset, breaking her opponent twice in the first set and three more times in the second to close out the match in just 60 minutes.
“I was really aggressive right from the beginning and didn’t give her many chances,” said Mauresmo. – Reuters