HOBART, Australia – After 41 Fed Cup ties Rennae Stubbs has retired from the womenâ€™s team event.
Having played for the Australian Fed Cup team for16 years, the 39 year old leaves the court as the longest playing Australian woman with a 28-10 doubles record.
Over her Fed Cup career, which started in 1992, Stubbs has been an integral part of the team and instrumental in its return to the World Group this year.
â€œFor me Fed Cup has been one of the great things of my career,â€ said Stubbs.
â€œNo one thing stands out. The thing that stands out are the memories, the friends and the stories. Fed Cup are always the best two weeks of my year and I will miss these events.â€
â€œItâ€™s a daunting prospect. A new life because you know I have woken up every morning knowing what I was going to do was to go play tennis. So now to think that part of my life is not the norm is a strange prospect,â€ Stubbs said.
â€œI will miss the competitive spirit and feel when I am on the court but overall I will miss the people and the memories of my moments.
Italy defeated Australia at the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group tie at the Domain Tennis Centre 4-1.
In a replay of the 2010 French Open final,Â world No.4 Francesca Schiavone once again triumphed over Australiaâ€™s No.1 player Samantha Stosur, 7-6(1) 3-6 7-5 in the first match on court today while Jarmila Groth did not show the same form going down in straight sets to Italyâ€™s Flavia Pennetta (No.16) in the reverse singles, 6-3 6-2.
In the final match of the day Anastasia Rodionova (No.64) and Stubbs (No.11 in doubles) were defeated byÂ Roberta Vinci (No.38) and Sara Errani (No.44), 2-6 7-6(1) 6-4.
This is the sixth time the two countries have played in a Fed Cup tie. Italy has been Fed Cup champions in 2006, 2009 and 2010.
Australia and Italy are two of just four nations to have competed in every Fed Cup.
This is the Australian Fed Cup teamâ€™s first World Group tie since 2004. They will now play in the World Group Play-off in April to remain in the elite eight.