Tennis: Americans scupper Wightman

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THE Wightman Cup was scrapped yesterday after the United States rejected an offer to defend the trophy against a combined European team. The traditional annual meeting between the leading Great Britain and US women, first played in 1923, was suspended because it had become so one-sided.

The last Wightman Cup match in Virginia three years ago ended with Britain suffering another 7-0 whitewash. The Lawn Tennis Association subsequently suggested a Ryder Cup-style match between the US and Europe to revive the competition but the Americans rejected that idea and refused to allow the cup to be put up for any alternative women's match.

The LTA president, Ian King, said: 'It is obviously disappointing that the Wightman Cup, which has so much history and traditon, could not continue to be contested by Europe and the USA. But I understand the USTA concern about conflict with the new formula Federation Cup.'