INNSBRUCK, Austria -- Barbara Schwartz beat Lisa Raymond
10-8 in the third set Sunday to clinch Austria's upset of the
United States in the Fed Cup quarterfinals.
Coupled with Barbara Schett's 6-3, 6-2 win over Chanda Rubin in
the day's opening match, Schwartz's 7-6 (3), 4-6, 10-8 victory gave
Austria a 3-1 lead in the best-of-five series.
The hosts wrapped up a 4-1 victory when Schett and Patricia
Wartusch beat Martina Navratilova and Jill Craybas 6-3, 0-6, 6-3.
It was Navratilova's first loss in 41 career Fed Cup matches; her
regular doubles partner this season is Raymond.
"I could care less about the record," said Navratilova, who
has said she'll retire at the end of the year. "The important
thing is we lost the tie. We tried hard, we just came up a little
The United States has won the Fed Cup 17 times and reached the
semifinals in 35 of the competition's 41 years. Austria gained the
final four for just the third time (1990, 2002); it never has
reached a final.
"It's an unbelievable performance," Schett said. "Reaching
the semifinals for the second time in three years is a great
accomplishment for a country like Austria."
Also reaching the semifinals were Russia, France, and Spain.
Raymond and Rubin gave the United States a third-string
squad, because such stars as Venus and Serena Williams, Lindsay
Davenport and Jennifer Capriati opted not to play.
"I knew it would be hard to get people in July," first-year
U.S. captain Zina Garrison said. "I didn't look at it like I was
missing my four top players. I had full confidence in the players
Austria also knocked out the United States in 2002, when then-captain Billie Jean King kicked Capriati off the team on the eve of the matches.
On Sunday, Schwartz, ranked just 324th, was carried off the
court on her teammates' shoulders after she held on to beat the
30th-ranked Raymond in a nearly three-hour match.
"I had her a couple of times, but I didn't put the nail in the
coffin," said Raymond, who plays doubles with Martina Navratilova.
"You're not going to get more emotional than a Fed Cup tie. It's
not about you, it's about your teammates, your country. I just got
Raymond served for the match after breaking Schwartz to take a
7-6 lead in the final set.
"I don't think it was a matter of fatigue, but we were both so
emotionally spent," Raymond said.
Earlier, under sporadic rain on red clay, Schett didn't allow
Rubin to break her serve.
"I didn't expect it to be this easy," said Schett, once ranked
seventh but now 89th.
On Saturday, Rubin beat Schwartz 6-1, 5-7, 6-4, while Schett
defeated Raymond, 6-2, 6-4.