Champs advance after thrashing Germany

Kvitova and Co take 3-1 lead in Fed Cup, Russia also advance.
Updated on Feb 05, 2012 10:40 PM IST
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Agencies | By, Stuttgart

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova rallied to beat Germany's Sabine Lisicki and send defending champion Czech Republic into the semifinals of the Fed Cup after taking an insurmountable lead in the first round on Sunday.

Angelique Kerber later beat Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-4 to pull the score back to 3-1 and salvage some pride for the hosts with the 24-year-old German's first Fed Cup win.

Lisicki took the first set on a tie break, 7-6 (2), but No. 2-ranked Kvitova came from behind for the second time in two days to claim the second 6-4 before seeing out the decisive set 6-1.

The No. 14-ranked Lisicki had won their only previous encounter in 2009, but the 22-year-old seemed to allow the pressure get to her in the second set when Kvitova turned the screw.

"I had trouble with my return in the beginning, and it took a long time before I knew what to do it was in the middle of the second set. Anyway, I'm happy that I got it," the 21-year-old Kvitova said.

Russians charge
Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the second reverse singles Sunday to secure Russia an unsurmountable 3-1 lead over Spain in the Fed Cup World Group first-round series.

Russia will host either Belgium or Serbia in the semifinals on April 21-22.

In the early reverse singles match, Carla Suarez Navarro routed Nadia Petrova 6-0, 6-3 to give Spain its first point in the tie.

Japan whitewash
Japanese number one Ayumi Morita posted three wins to lead Japan to a 5-0 victory over Slovenia in the Fed Cup tennis World Group II first round tie on Sunday.

The 21-year-old ace, who received the Fed Cup Heart Award last year, overwhelmed Slovenia's top player Polona Hercog in the deciding set for a 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 victory to take an insurmountable 3-0 lead earlier in the day.

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