Kuznetsova rescues Russia, Czechs eye final return
Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated fellow former French Open champion Ana
Ivanovic 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 to pull four-time champions Russia level with
Serbia in their Fed Cup semi-final in Moscow.
Ivanovic went into the rubber leading her opponent 6-2 in previous
encounters, but crucially it was Kuznetsova who won their only Fed Cup
match-up in 2010 and her liking for the tournament continued on
“All three sets today were completely different,” Kuznetsova said.
“In the first I was in complete control and took it easily. I was so
glad that I found my best tennis that I lost concentration in the second
allowing her to level.“But in the third I was in command again and won
the deciding point.”
The winner of the semi-final will likely face holders Czech Republic
in November's final after the Czechs opened a 2-0 lead over Italy in
Ostrava.Jelena Jankovic had beaten Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-3
earlier on Saturday to put Serbia 1-0 up.“I lost three of my previous
meetings with Nastia (Pavlyuchenkova) on hardcourts,” Jankovic said.
“But this time we played in red clay and though the court was not
perfect it fits my tennis better than any other surface.” Lucie Safarova
and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova handed holders Czech Republic a 2-0
lead over Italy in their semi-final.
Safarova, the world number 23, beat 12th-ranked Francesca Schiavone,
the former French Open winner, 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 before world number three
Kvitova saw off Sara Errani 6-4, 6-3.
“This point was very important for us. Leading 2-0 after day one is
an excellent result and it will definitely give us a boost, but we need
one more point,” said Kvitova, who faces Schiavone in the first reverse
singles on Sunday.
The Czechs beat Russia 3-2 in Moscow last November to win their first
Fed Cup trophy since their country split with Slovakia in 1993.
In the World Group play-offs, where the winners will play in the
elite division next season, the USA took a 2-0 lead over Ukraine, Japan
led Belgium 2-0, Spain and Slovakia were locked at 1-1 while Australia
opened a 2-0 lead over Germany.