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Italy take commanding lead

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:55

The USA went into the tie without both Williams sisters, and youngsters Alexa Glatch and Melanie Oudin proved no match for their more experienced opponents.

Italy’s only previous Fed Cup title came with a 3-2 win against Belgium in 2006 but they are unlikely to need a deciding rubber this time around.

Glatch was up first on the clay against world number 11 Flavia Pennetta, but the 20-year-old struggled with her serve and was beaten 6-3 6-1 in little over an hour.

Oudin has emerged as the golden girl of American tennis this year, the 18-year-old reaching the last 16 at Wimbledon and the quarter-finals of the US Open to climb into the world’s top 50.

She began well against Francesca Schiavone with an early break of serve, but the Italian hit back and then took the opener on the tie-break.

The second set was much more straightforward for Schiavone, 11 years Oudin’s senior, as she cruised to a 7-6 (7/2) 6-2 victory.

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