tennis in the modern times has been an olympic sport since 1988 (after 64 years
away from the olympics). in previous olympics, the usa team had been integrated by the
no.1 doubles player at the time, twice in the most recent olympics by gigi fernandez. billie
jean king had stated previously that her decisions over the fed cup and olympic team were
always simple, since she "went off the rankings". it was therefore expected that, not just
in all logic and fairness, but also in accordance with the policy of billie and of the usta, the no.1 doubles player
would be chosen for the team.
billie jean king choses serena over lisa
billie jean king chose: lindsay davenport, venus williams and
monica seles for the singles as was expected, since they were the top 3 singles players (by the
wta rankings) and serena williams for the doubles spot. that was lisa raymond's spot as her
no.1 world ranking in doubles dictated. it was argued that billie jean king had chosen the best
player, how anyone can be better than the no.1 doubles player in the world is beyond understanding.
lisa deserved that spot. she had the ranking, the titles and the tennis. but she was cheated out of it.
lisa fights back
in the face of such injustice, lisa decided to fight back and appealed her case. an
arbitrator was designated to determine whether lisa should go to the olympics or not. the
arbitrator obviously thought lisa was right, and made the usta pay for her legal expenses,
but was not brave enough to make the usta detract from their decision, although it was
dictated that the rules for choosing the olympic team were re-written and clarified for the future.
showing them all
not two months after the olympics, usa was to play the fed cup final against spain. ironically
enough, serena williams was unwilling to defend her country's colors now that a place for the olympics
was not in the line anymore (as she has refused to do in 2002, we'll see what happens when it comes
down to olympic year again). where others would have been bitter and resentful, lisa was not. she agreed
to play fed cup and won the final point for the usa in their win over spain. a fed cup winner at last. always
willing to play for her country.
regardless of what the usta and billie jean king now owe her.
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