Seles seals U.S. Fed Cup win over Croatia

RALEIGH, North Carolina, April 18 – Monica Seles continued her dominant ways in Fed Cup play, sealing the U.S. victory over Croatia with a 6-0 6-3 defeat of Iva Majoli in Sunday’s first match.

The victory by Seles gave the United States an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five series and a date in Italy July 24-25, and lifted her Fed Cup singles record to 10-0. The Americans went on to a 5-0 sweep after winning the second reverse singles and doubles matches.

Seles, ranked third in the world, wasted little time in both of her singles wins over the weekend. Sunday’s win took only 42 minutes — the first set took just 16 minutes — and on Saturday, she defeated Silvija Talaja in just 63.

“I was on,” said Seles. “Everything was going my way.”

U.S. captain Billie Jean King had nothing but praise for Seles. “She played unbelievably well,” King said. “I was looking at her this weekend and this last week, and she’s getting physically stronger, and I just think it will be interesting to see her the rest of the year.”

While Seles was clearly on top of her game, Majoli made many of the same mistakes which led to her defeat on Saturday by Chanda Rubin.

“It was more like her playing perfect, and I couldn’t do anything,” Majoli said. “She played a really, really solid match, no mistakes, very good.”

Majoli did jump out to a 2-0 lead in the second set. Seles, who rarely found herself behind this weekend, said she began to think about the last time she played Majoli.

“Here we go again like in Tokyo when I lost to her,” said Seles, who lost there after taking the first set.

But Seles, cheered on by the American crowd chanting “USA, USA,” would not fold.

A pair of double faults led to Seles tying the score at 2-2. From there, Seles scored four of the last five points for the win.

For the match, Majoli committed 35 unforced errors, including 14 in the first set. Seles totaled only 12 for the match.

In the meaningless second singles match, Chanda Rubin defeated Talaja 6-3 6-4. In doubles play, Seles and Rubin defeated Majoli/Talaja 6-3 6-2.