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Fed Cup: Cornet crumbles and France crash out

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French hopes of another Fed Cup success ended in tears (literally) when they were hammered 5-0 by Italy in their World Group first round tie in Orleans on Sunday.

It was a Fed Cup tie that had everything (apart from a French victory, that is) a middle-finger gesture from Italian No.1 Flavia Pennetta, claims by Amelie Mauresmo that the Italian should have been kicked out of the tie and an on-court emotional breakdown from Alize Cornet.

With former No.1 Mauresmo and world No.13 Cornet among their ranks, many would have fancied the French to come out on top.

But it didnt take long for the wheels come off the French challenge. Mauresmo let a second set match point and a 4-1 third-set lead slip away as she slumped to a 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 defeat to Pennetta in a bad-tempered opening match on Saturday.

During the tie-break Pennetta appeared to flick a middle-fingered


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