Week #05: Russia, USA, China and Spain advance to Fed Cup semis

Spanish team scored the biggest upset in the quarter-final round of Fed Cup when defeating 2006 champion and 2007 runner-up Italy as a visitor. Out of top 100 due to severe injuries in the last two years, Nuria Llagostera upsetted Italian #1 Francesca Schiavone and Spanish leader Anabel Medina secured victory with convincing wins over Flavia Pennetta and Schiavone. Spain will face China, which had to fight to get a 3-2 victory over France despite the absence of French top players Bartoli, Golovin and Mauresmo. China got an early 2-0 lead after the first day, but veterans Dechy and Razzano fought back to 2-2 and went to the decisive doubles, where Zi Yan and Jie Zheng, probably world's best tennis pair, finally secured the win.
Maria Sharapova kept her impressive form after Australian Open win and got two points in the Russian victory over Israel. Finally newcomer Sabine Lisicki upsetted former #1 Lindsay Davenport to put Germany on the lead in USA, but Americans recovered and won the tie 4-1 with two important singles wins for Ashley Harkleroad.

On World Group II Japan, Ukraine, Argentina and Czech Republic will play for a spot on World Group I next year after defeating Croatia, Belgium, Austria and Slovakia respectively. Most exciting tie was played in Ukraine. Yanina Wickmayer gave Belgium a 1/2 lead after beating both Bondarenko sisters. 15yo Tamaryn Hendler was given the reponsability to get the 3rd point and was 6/4 4/0 up to Katerina Bondarenko, but she wasn't able to finish it off and Bondarenko came back to win the match. In the doubles, Australian Open champions Alona and Katerina Bondarenko secured the victory. Another exciting tie was the one between Czech Republic and Slovakia where Nicole Vaidisova was decissive winning her two singles matches and the doubles.

Finally, Serbia, Switzerland, Colombia and Uzbekistan won the zonal events and a place in play-offs for World Group II.

Fed Cup, 1/4-final World Group
Israel- RUSSIA 1/4
CHINA-France 3/2
Italy-SPAIN 2/3
USA-Germany 4/1

World Group II, 1st round
JAPAN-Croatia 4/1
UKRAINE-Belgium 3/2
ARGENTINA-Austria 4/1

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