FedCup - Round-up: Russia pegged back by Serbia

Reuters - Sat, 06 Feb 17:54:00 2010

Russia are level at 1-1 with Serbia after day one of their Fed Cup World Group first-round tie, despite the woeful form Ana Ivanovic.

Serbia's Ana Ivanovic reacts during the Fed Cup tennis match against Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova in Belgrade - 0

Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova swatted aside Ivanovic (pictured) 6-1 6-4 but Serbia drew level thanks to Jelena Jankovic.

Czech Republic and Germany also have one win each in their tie ahead of Sunday's reverse singles and doubles.

Former world number one Ivanovic, who lost in the second round at last month's Australian Open, has tumbled to 23 in the rankings and was never in the match against Kuznetsova.

Despite the support of the Belgrade crowd, Ivanovic produced 21 unforced errors in the first set alone before world number four Kuznetsova comfortably closed out the second set.

Jankovic levelled matters with a dogged 4-6 6-4 6-0 win over Alisa Kleybanova in the second rubber.

Ukraine 1-1 Italy

Italy started badly with Alona Bondarenko crushing Francesca Schiavone 6-1 6-4 in exactly an hour and a half.

The Ukrainian world number 26 cruised through the first set on the hardcourt in Kharkiv before 18th-ranked Schiavone fought back to go 3-1 up in the second.

Powerful Bondarenko increased the tempo and retook the initiative with a series of booming shots, sealing victory when the Italian went wide with a forehand.

Her sister Kateryna Bondarenko fared less well against world number 12 Flavia Pennetta in the second match, losing 7-5 6-3.

Pennetta, who struggled with the partisan crowd, often struck the net in an unconvincing victory.

Czech Republic 1-1 Germany

Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld confidently beat Czech 23-year-old Lucie Safarova 6-2 6-2 in Brno, but the home team levelled the tie at 1-1 thanks to Petra Kvitova's battling 6-4 6-4 win over Andrea Petkovic.

France 0-2 USA

The Americans are one win away from April's semi-finals after racing to a 2-0 advantage over nervous hosts France, while defending champions Italy are level at 1-1 with World Group debutants Ukraine in their best of five encounter.

American Bethanie Mattek-Sands gave last year's runners-up the lead when she edged out an anxious Alize Cornet 7-6(7) 7-5.

"I was really nervous when coming on the court. I guess I take things too much to heart. I felt like I was petrified by the stress," France's Cornet said.

The US, again without the Williams sisters, went further ahead with Melanie Oudin's 6-4 6-4 win over Pauline Parmentier.

Reuters

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