Week #5: Italy, Czech Rep., Russia and USA through Fed Cup semifinals.

Italy vs Czech Republic and USA vs Russia will be the Fed Cup semifinals after they all won their 1st round ties this weekend. Flavia Pennetta led the current champion Italy to the victory in Ukraine, as she overcame both Bondarenko sisters. The Czech Republic found a big opposition on German Ana-Lena Groenefeld who won two singles points for Germany, but also found a hero in Lucie Hradecka, who replaced Lucie Safarova on the 2nd day to defeat Petkovic and then win the decissive doubles match partnering Kveta Peschke. The most expected tie was the one between Serbia and Russia. Serbian Jelena Jankovic put all from her side and despite not being 100% physically fit won her 2 singles matches in two 3-set dramas against Alisa Kleybanova and Svetlana Kuznetsova. But on the other hand former #1 Ana Ivanovic showed that she's in a serious slump and lost all her matches with a poor performance. The tie was also decided in the doubles match with Kleybanova and Kuznetsova defeating Jankovic and Ivanovic. Finally, the USA team with no Williams sisters and led by Melanie Oudin got a clear victory in France. In the first match Bethanie Mattek upsetted French #1 Alize Cornet, who couldn't handle the pressure and continues her Fed Cup nightmare (0-6 record). Then USA #1 Melanie Oudin secured the victory overcoming Pauline Parmentier and Julie Coin.

There was also some interesting ties in World Group II. The tie between Australia and Spain was decided in the doubles match with Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs defeating World #3 team Nuria Llagostera and Maria Jose Martinez. Stosur was the leader of the Australian team winning the 3 points. Yanina Wickmayer was also the leader of the Belgian team that defeated Poland, as she won her two single points including a key victory over WTA #9 Agnieszka Radwanska coming back form a set down and saving match points. Nevertheless, it was Kirsten Flipkens who won the decissive point defeating Marta Domachowska. The other ties were decided at 3-0 as Estonia swept a very weak Argentinian team and the Slovak Republic overcame a Chinese team weakened by the withdrawals of Jie Zheng and Shuai Peng.

Finally, Canada, Japan, Sweden and Slovenia won the zonal groups and will play-off with World Group II losers for a place in World Group II next season.

World Group, 1/4-final
Ukraine 1 - Italy 4
Czech Republic 3 - Germany 2
Serbia 2 - Russia 3
France 1 - USA 4

World Group II, 1st round

Australia 3 - Spain 2
Poland 2 - Belgium 3
Estonia 4 - Argentina 1
Slovak Republic 3 - China 2

No comments: