Day One of the first round of Fed Cup World Group action is over – and it’s getting exciting! Here’s a quick update (all facts and figures via the indespensible FedCup.com)
Russia vs. Serbia at Serbia: 1 – 1
(Anyone else really digging Jelena’s patriotic dress?)
Ana Ivanovic lost in straight sets to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the opening rubber – not a great sign for Ana fans, considering she had a 5-1 head-to-head vs. Sveta going into the match. Jelena Jankovic, who is coming off a back injury, looked ready to further depress the home fans in her match vs. Alisa Kleybanova. She was down a set and 1-4 before winning 11 games in a row to win the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-0. (Kleybanova suffered a similarly disheartening loss to Justine Henin in Melbourne – is it time to book an appointment with a sports psychologist?)
According to the schedule, the Serb stars will be hard-pressed on Sunday, scheduled for singles and the penultimate doubles rubber vs. Vera Dushevina and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Chin up, Ana!
REUTERS/Ivan Milutinovic via Daylife
Ukraine vs. Italy at Ukraine: 1 – 1
Blood sisters vs. sisters-by-blood! And it’s a fight! The defending champs have a battle on their hands in the Ukraine, tied going into the second day. Alona Bondarenko (who is 9-1 for the season) defeated Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 6-4. Flavia Pennetta avenged her teammate’s defeat, taking out Alona’s little sister, Kateryna Bondarenko, 7-5, 6-3. I can’t imagine Team Italia will relinquish its treasured title without a fight.
Germany vs. Czech Republic at Czech Republic: 1 – 1
Anyone been thinking about Anna-Lena Groenefeld lately? Perhaps Lucie Safarova hasn’t been either. She was pounded 2-6, 2-6 by her German opponent in 52 minutes. Groenefeld was reportedly using her strong serve and crosscourt forehand to disarm her opponent. Let’s keep an eye on her this Spring – perhaps Fed Cup will be her springboard. Safarova’s countrywoman, Petra Kvitova pulled off the upset against the higher ranked Andrea Petkovic, winning the second rubber 6-4, 6-4.
U.S.A. vs. France at France: 2 – 0
The only blowout so far has been at the racquets of a Williams-sisters-free Team USA against France. Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Alize Cornet, 7-6(7) 7-5, in the first rubber, bringing Cornet’s career Fed Cup record to a dismal 0-7. Melanie Oudin defeated Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 6-4.
Count on Bethanie to make a fashion statement in France:
AP Photo/Michel Spingler via Daylife
Yes, Bethanie is blond now. If you’d like to read all about her dye job (and Jankovic’s triumph over stilettos), click here for the Fed Cup blog.
WORLD GROUP II results
Australia vs. Spain in Australia: 2-2.
Estonia vs. Argentina in Argentina: 2-0
Poland vs. Belgium in Poland: 1-1
Slovak Republic vs. China: 2-0
Click here to check out the Zonal Group results.
Click here for the France vs. USA TV schedule.