Billie Jean King Cup: Russia and US set up semifinal clash

The Russians will face the USA after they beat Spain 2-1 to say first place in Group C within the day’s different tie inside Prague’s O2 Enviornment.
The RTF crew, whose 5 players in Prague are ranked contained in the world’s high 40, wanted to win only one match of their second round-robin tie in Group A after blanking Canada 3-0 of their opener.

Ekaterina Alexandrova misplaced the primary rubber to Clara Burel, leaving Pavlyuchenkova, the very best ranked among the many Russian facet at twelfth, needing to beat the 59th-ranked Cornet to keep away from leaving their destiny relying on the doubles.

Cornet confirmed coronary heart towards the big-hitting Russian to win the opening set however Pavlyuchenkova discovered an additional gear and extra energy to edge a grueling match 5-7 6-4 6-2.

Cornet reacts during her match against Pavlyuchenkova.

Pavlyuchenkova broke Cornet’s serve thrice within the deciding set and transformed her first match level with an immaculate drop volley earlier than breaking right into a jig with teammate Daria Kasatkina on courtroom.

“I am actually, actually drained proper now as a result of I gave all of it on the market bodily and emotionally,” Pavlyuchenkova instructed reporters.

“I did not really feel so nice earlier than the match truly, and within the first set, I used to be a bit sluggish for some purpose … however ultimately, I discovered this superb vitality and I used to be in that kind of zone and vibe.”

Burel and Cornet returned to the courtroom for the doubles, hoping to at the very least assist France win the tie however the Russian pair of Liudmila Samsonova and Veronika Kudermetova utterly outplayed them in a 6-2 6-1 win.

Below the match’s new format, 12 groups have been cut up into 4 teams of round-robin play and the group winners progress to Friday’s semifinals, with the ultimate on Saturday.

The US, report 18-times champions, had been beneath stress after dropping to Slovakia of their opening match and knew solely a convincing victory towards Spain can be sufficient.

Sloane Stephens opened up with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Nuria Parrizas Diaz earlier than Danielle Collins thrashed Sara Sorribes Tormo for the lack of just one recreation to seal victory within the tie.

A straight-sets win for Spanish pair Aliona Bolsova and Rebeka Masarova over Caroline Dolehide and Coco Vandeweghewas was purely tutorial as Kathy Rinaldi’s US had been assured of first place within the group on a superior units win-loss proportion.

Russia, who gained the previous Fed Cup 4 occasions between 2004-2008, will meet the US on Friday.

Thursday’s motion concludes group play with Australia up towards Belarus in Group B and Switzerland taking up the hosts Czech Republic in Group D.

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