Week #5: Russia, Italy, USA and Czech Republic through Fed Cup semis

Russia, Italy, USA and Czech Republic will play for two places in the Fed Cup final after the quarter-final ties held this weekend. As expected, title-holder Russia swept a weak China that missed Li and Zheng. Italy upsetted France in Paris by 0-5 after a thrilling first day with victories of Flavia Pennetta over Amelie Mauresmo 2/6 7/6 6/4 and Francesca Schiavone over Alize Cornet 6/1 2/6 8/6. With the absence of the Williams sisters, veterans Julie Ditty and Liezel Huber gave the victory to USA in the decissive doubles match against Argentina, which lacked of a 2nd top player to help Gisela Dulko, who won her two singles matches. Finally, Czech Republic took advance of their crowd support and a fast carpet surface to beat Spain, with Petra Kvitova winning her two singles matches.
In the World Group II, as it was expected Serbia and the Slovak Republic found little opposition on Japan and Belgium and won their ties in the 3rd match. Poor performance of Timea Bacsinszky was the key for the defeat of Switzerland against Germany, despite the two singles victories of Patty Schnyder. Israeli Shahar Peer also won her two matches but this was not enough to defeat Ukraine as the Bondarenko sisters won the decissive doubles match.
Finally, Estonia, Poland, Canada and Australia were the winners of the zonal events and got a place in World Group II play-offs

World Group, 1st Round
RUSSIA beat China 5-0
France lost to ITALY 0-5
USA beat Argentina 3-2
CZECH REPUBLIC beat Spain 4-1

World Group II, 1st Round
SLOVAK REPUBLIC beat Belgium 4-1
Switzerland lost to GERMANY 2-3
SERBIA beat Japan 4-1
UKRAINE beat Israel 3-2

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