Ditty Replaces Mattek On Fed Cup Team

February 4, 2009 09:38 AM
Julie Ditty of Ashland, Ky., the all-time leader in USTA Pro Circuit titles, will replace Bethanie Mattek on the U.S. Fed Cup team when it faces Argentina in the 2009 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas quarterfinal tie February 7-8 at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz.

Mattek, the third-highest ranked American in the world, was forced to withdraw from the event as she is still battling a hip injury that prevented her from playing in the Australian Open.

Ditty, 30, became the all-time USTA Pro Circuit career title leader after sweeping both singles and doubles at the $75,000 event in Albuquerque, N.M., last September, and then proceeded to capture her 33rd title after winning doubles at the $50,000 event in Lawrenceville, Ga., the following month. She enjoyed arguably her best season as a pro in 2008, earning direct entry into the main draw of the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, and reached a career-high No. 89 singles ranking in March. Ditty will be competing in her first Fed Cup tie.

“I knew before I went to Albuquerque that I could break the record,” Ditty said. “It is a good feeling, especially being from the U.S. I just broke the Top 100, too.”

Ditty, a graduate of Vanderbilt, surpassed Paul Goldstein and Nana Smith (nee Miyagi), who both have 30 titles. Of her 32 titles, Ditty owns nine USTA Pro Circuit singles titles and 23 doubles crowns.

The USTA Pro Circuit is considered the sport's minor leagues where young and established players accumulate rankings and prize money that helps jetison them into the ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA pro tours. Many of the top USTA Pro Circuit players often gain direct entry into the Grand Slams and other tour tournaments based on their success on the circuit.

“It’s unfortunate that Bethanie won’t be able to participate," said U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez. “But we’re very lucky to be able to call on such an experienced player in Julie, and we hope Bethanie is able to join the team for a future tie."

Two-day and single-session tickets for the Fed Cup quarterfinal between the U.S. and Argentina are still available. Ticket prices range from $50 to $200 for two-day packages with single-session tickets starting at $30. Tickets can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (888) 334-USTA (8782), or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also available at the Surprise Stadium Box office located at 15960 North Bullard Avenue in Surprise from 10am-5pm or at any Ticketmaster outlet.

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the world’s largest annual international women’s team competition with 85 countries competing this year. The United States leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles -- the last coming in 2000 -- and is one of eight nations competing for the 2009 Fed Cup title as part of the Fed Cup World Group.