Italy prevail against Ukraine to reach Fed Cup semis
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:54
The Italian Fed Cup team saw off a stern Ukraine challenge to win 4-1 and book a semi-final clash with the Czech Republic.
The defending champions entered day two of the away tie level at 1-1 before Flavia Pennetta sent them on their way to victory with a 7-5 7-6(3) victory over Alona Bondarenko.
“I played much better under pressure and I was fighting from the beginning to the end even if I did not always reach my best,” the world No.12 said afterwards.
Francesca Schiavone claimed Italy’s third rubber with an impressive 2-6 6-1 6-1 win over Kateryna Bondarenko to finish the job.
The Czech Republic made full use of their home advantage in Brno to beat Germany 3-2, with Lucie Hradecka and Kveta Peschke beating German duo Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Tatjana Malek 6-1 6-3 in the deciding doubles rubber.
Russia, victors over Serbia, will play the United States in the other semi-final after Melanie Oudin prodiced the weekend’s standout performance against France.
In contrast, Ana Ivanovic’s slump continues after the former world No.1 managed just five games in both her singles loss to Alisa Kleybanova and the doubles alongside Jelena Jankovic as Serbia fell to a 3-2 defeat in Belgrade.
US Open quarter-finalist Oudin’s progression continues as she anchored the US Fed Cup team to a 4-1 away victory over France in some style.
After helping set up a 2-0 lead on Saturday, the 18-year-old ousted Julie Coin 7-6(3) 6-4 to give the visitors an unassailable lead.
“I was a bit nervous and she was serving great, but as the match advanced I got more and more confident and I’m obviously thrilled that I was able to allow the US to go to the semis,” Oudin said.
The semi-finals will be contested from April 24-25.