The Fed Cup weekend action determined the teams that will clash in the World Group semifinals set for April 20-21: Slovakia vs. Russia and Czech Republic vs. Italy.
Eleven years after helping Slovakia win the 2002 Fed Cup title, Daniela Hantuchova won both her singles rubbers against Serbia, which was short of Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, and helped Slovakia clinch a 3-2 victory. Those two losses include a walkover in doubles and Dominika Cibulkova’s retirement with a calf injury against Vesna Dolonc, when the Slovak was leading 6-4 5-4.
Russia scored a 3-2 against Japan, when the triumphant doubles team of Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova defeated Misaki Doi and Ayumi Morita 6-2 6-2 in the deciding doubles. In singles, Kimiko Date-Krumm had lost both her singles rubbers, against Maria Kirilenko and against Ekaterina Makarova, while Ayumi Morita won both hers, against Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
The Czech Republic, looking for their third straight Fed Cup title, defeated Australia 4-0, but only after Petra Kvitova, in a clash of Grand Slam champions, intimidated Samantha Stosur on the Australian’s match point at 6-2 5-4 and eventually won the match 2-6 7-6(3) 6-4 for a 3-0 lead in the tie.
Varvara Lepchenko won both her singles rubbers for the American team, including her first Top 10 victory in 12 tries that came on Sunday against Sara Errani, but Jamie Hampton lost both her singles matches and in the deciding doubles the No.1 team of Errani and Vinci was too strong for Lepchenko and Liezel Huber.