Italy blitz way back to Fed Cup final
Originally published on: 26/04/10 17:10
Italy’s recent love affair with the Fed Cup continues as Flavia Pennetta, Francesca Schiavone and Sara Errani made it look easy during a 5-0 drubbing of the Czech Republic.
Pennetta wrapped up victory for the defending champions, who also won the event in 2006 and reached the final in 2007, with a 7-6(3) 6-2 victory over Petra Kvitova in the third rubber.
Kvitova – a late replacement for Lucie Safarova, who injured her shoulder on Saturday – threatened early match and at one stage led the first set 4-1, but faded badly in the second set.
“It’s incredible to be in the final again,” Pennetta said after running away with the match in the second set. “Once more we’ve done something great.”
With victory assured, Sara Errani was called in to rest Francesca Schiavone, and the 22-year-old duly defeated Lucie Hradecka 6-4 6-2 in the other singles rubber, before teaming up with Schiavone Hradecka and Kveta Peschke 6-2 6-4 in the doubles.
Italy will meet the US Fed Cup team in the final for the second year running after the Americans came back to beat Russia 3-2 in Birmingham, Alabama.
The US, chasing their 18th Fed Cup triumph, had Bethanie Mattek-Sands to thank after she held her nerve in a tense final set to beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-4 2-6 6-3 and level the tie ahead of the decisive doubles.
She then returned to partner Liezel Huber in the doubles, in which the US were considered favourites. They delivered in style, beating Elena Dementieva and Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3 6-1 to spark the celebrations.
The US will host this year’s final after playing in Italy last year. The tie will be held on November 6-7.