Billie Jean King Cup: Russia and US set up semifinal clash
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 in opposition to 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.
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 court docket.
“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 really, and within the first set, I used to be a bit sluggish for some motive … however in the long run, I discovered this superb power and I used to be in that form of zone and vibe.”
Burel and Cornet returned to the court docket for the doubles, hoping to no less than assist France win the tie however the Russian pair of Liudmila Samsonova and Veronika Kudermetova fully outplayed them in a 6-2 6-1 win.
Below the event’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 underneath stress after shedding to Slovakia of their opening match and knew solely a convincing victory in opposition to Spain could 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 sport 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 educational as Kathy Rinaldi’s US had been assured of first place within the group on a superior units win-loss proportion.
Russia, who received the previous Fed Cup 4 occasions between 2004-2008, will meet the US on Friday.
Thursday’s motion concludes group play with Australia up in opposition to Belarus in Group B and Switzerland taking over the hosts Czech Republic in Group D.