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Russia in ominous form

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:17

Taking the court first in front of the home fans, Kuznetsova coasted to a 6-2 6-4 triumph over Yan Zi. The world number seven broke Zi’s serve four times in the 72-minute mismatch.

Dementieva, the reigning Olympic champion, had just as easy of a time in a 6-3 6-0 triumph over Zhang Shuai.

The Russian team boasts a formidable line-up again with world number four Dementieva, Kuznetsova, 19th-ranked Anna Chakvetadze, 19th in the world, and number 28 Alisa Kleybanova.

If Russia win one match on Sunday, they will face the winner of the clash between Italy and France, who are playing in Orleans.

Italy are currently 2-0 ahead following victories by Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta.

The United States are level with Argentina at the end of the first day of their tie in Arizona.

Jill Craybas gave the United States early momentum but youngster Melanie Oudin was unable to maintain it in Surprise.

Craybas, 34, opened the quarter-final clash in dominant form, needing just over an hour to dispose of Betina Jozami, 6-2 6-1.

Oudin, just 17, then attempted to give the USA a 2-0 lead, but was unable to rally as she fell to Gisela Dulko, 6-2 7-5.

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