Week #16: Italy and USA to play Fed Cup final

Italy and USA will play the Fed Cup final in November after a thrilling weekend with 6 of the 9 ties being decided in the doubles match. Italy confirmed as a very solid and dangerous team and the only one able to defeat Russia in the last five years, doing it for the 2nd time. Russian team was weakened by the absence of their top players Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva and Vera Zvonareva and Italy took advance to set a 2-0 lead after the first day with Pennetta sweeping a poor Chakvetadze and Schiavone upsetting Kuznetsova. Kuznetsova gave the Russian team a little hope defeating Pennetta on the second day, but Schiavone secured the victory defeating youngster Pavlyuchenkova. In Brno, USA got a very surprising victory over the Czech Republic despite the absence of the Williams sisters. Young Alexa Glatch (WTA 114) played an incredible tennis to sweep Czech leaders Iveta Benesova (WTA 29) and Petra Kvitova (WTA 48) dropping no more than 3 games on each match. And veteran Liezel Huber partnered with Bethanie Mattek to complete the upset in the doubles match.

On the other hand, Serbia finally got a well deserved place in World Group with former #1s Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic defeating the Spanish team. Ukraine also promoted to World Group for the first time with a 5-0 victory over a poor Argentina. The closest ties were held in France and Germany, with the ties being decided in the doubles match. Amelie Mauresmo was the hero for France, as she won the 3 points (2 singles and 1 doubles) to overcome a strong Slovakian team with Cibulkova and Hantuchova. Germany was led by Sabine Lisicki and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who got the decissive point in the doubles match after China come back from a 2-0 down after the first day.

Finally, in the World Group II playoffs, three thrilling ties were decided in the 5th match, with local teams Belgium, Estonia and Poland defeating Canada, Israel and Japan respectively. Australia found less opposition on a weak Swiss team and secured its place in World Group II in the 3rd match. Yanina Wickmayer (2 singles and 1 doubles victory), Kaia Kanepi (2 singles and 1 doubles victory), Agnieszka Radwanska (2 singles victories) and Samantha Stosur (2 singles victories) led each one of the winner teams to World Group II.

Fed Cup, World Group Semifinal
ITALY 4 - Russia 1
Czech Republic 2 - USA 3

World Group play-offs
Spain 0 - SERBIA 4
FRANCE 3 - Slovakia 2
GERMANY 3 - China 2
Argentina 0 - UKRAINE 5

World Group II play-offs
BELGIUM 3 - Canada 2
ESTONIA 3 - Israel 2
POLAND 3 - Japan 2
AUSTRALIA 3 - Switzerland 0

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