The Wightman Cup, born in an age when British tennis was the world's best and American women were just learning to play the game, was pushed aside Tuesday, the victim of a decade of U.S. dominance. Britain's Lawn Tennis Association said the annual event between women's teams from the two nations was being temporarily suspended while officials sought a new format to make it more exciting and competitive.
"My immediate reaction is one of sadness, having played the event so many times," said Ann Jones, a former Wimbledon champion and one of Britain's most famous players. "But you have to be realistic. We haven't done very well over the last few years and now it's a much more professional event with sponsorship and a much higher profile. It's just one of those things."
The reaction was much the same in the United States.
"The times I've played I've enjoyed playing the team format, but with what's happened to Great Britain in tennis, you can't have these one-sided matches year in, year out," Pam Shriver said. "It's a lot of fun, but it's kind of hard to promote when all the matches are 6-0 or 6-1."