The first round of Fed Cup is over and after all the dust and thundersticks have settled we have the four teams we pretty much expected to advance.
Kudos to Team America for their surprisingly (at least to me) decisive win over France. Mels Bells clinched it in her opening match today over Julie Coin. Their reward?
Hosting Team Russia in the semifinals. On the, uh, broad shoulders of Sveta and Kleybs, Russia advanced after trouncing the dream (or nightmare, depending on your perspective) pairing of JJ and Ana in the decisive doubles match.
The day started with JJ engineering yet another three set come from behind victory over Sveta, only to see Ana crumble under the pressure of being a clincher. The kid came out nervous again, dropping to 0-4 in the first, before dropping the match 62 63.
Rough luck for Serbia, even rougher luck for Ana, who will surely have to endure some fun questions and commentary. But kudos to the Glitter Queen of Serbia, who put her money where her mouth was and pulled of a solid Fed Cup weekend. And her win over Sveta should give her some confidence.
If only that darned back would heal....
On the other side of the draw will be the Czech Republic at Italy. The Italians sealed their tie after both Flavia and Franny won their reverse singles to clinch 3-1. As for the Czechs, they had a surprise hero in Lucie Hradcka, who subbed in for a sick Lucie Safarova and beat Petkovic in singles, then teamed up with Kveta Peschke to win the decisive doubles match. It'll be a tough task to beat Italy in Italy on, I presume, clay.