Palermo, Italy (Sports Network) - It took an extra day, but Italy is back in
the Fed Cup final.
Roberta Vinci provided the three-time Fed Cup champs with the decisive point
on Monday, earning a 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3 triumph over Lucie Safarova to give
the Italians an insurmountable 3-1 advantage over the two-time defending
champion Czech Republic in the best-of-five semifinal tie.
Rain on Sunday allowed just one match to be completed and Petra Kvitova kept
the Czechs alive with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 win over Sara Errani, but the reigning
champs were unable to mount the same rally Russia did on Sunday against the
Russia came back from an 0-2 deficit and won all three matches Sunday to stun
the Slovaks in the other semifinal. The Russians will be the opponent for
Italy in November's final.
The two nations met for the 2007 Fed Cup title, with Russia taking the trophy
in a 4-0 decision. Russia also came away with a 5-0 whitewash in their last
matchup two years ago in the semifinals, while the Italians won a 2009
semifinal en route to a title.
Italy last reached the Fed Cup final in 2010, beating the United States for a
second straight championship. The Italians also topped Belgium for the 2006
crown and will play in the final for the fifth time in the last eight years.
The Czechs lost in Fed Cup play for the first time since Italy knocked them
off in the 2010 semifinals.
The Sports Network