Australia, Germany and Italy won their World Group first-round Fed Cup ties over the weekend, while the Czech Republic, whose action against Spain was delayed due to rain, joined them today.
The first to advance to the semifinals was Australia, beating, as expected, the weak Russian team 4-0. Casey Dellacqua defeated world No.241 Irina Khromacheva, Samantha Stosur beat world No. 650 Veronika Kudermetova and world No.158 Victoria Kan, while the team of Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua scored victory in the doubles rubber.
Australia’s semifinal opponent will be Germany, whose Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber both recorded victories over the recent Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia. Kerber also defeated Daniela Hantuchova, while the Slovak team closed the gap with the victory in doubles for a final 3-1 score.
Karin Knapp and Camila Giorgi scored three victories for Italy against the USA: Knapp against Christina McHale and Alison Riske, and Giorgi against Madison Keys. American pair of Madison Keys and Lauren Davis won the dead doubles rubber against inexperienced Italians – No.161-ranked Nastassja Burnett and No.704 Alice Matteucci.
After the rain-affected weekend action in Seville, Andrea Hlavackova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic won the deciding doubles rubber against Silvia Soler-Espinosa and Carla Suarez Navarro, who recorded two victories for her country in singles.