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Pennetta, Schiavone give Italy 2-0 Fed Cup lead

ROME (AP) — Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone won in straight sets Saturday for defending Fed Cup champion Italy, which leads the Czech Republic 2-0 in the semifinals.

Pennetta defeated Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 7-5, while Schiavone cruised past Lucie Safarova 6-0, 6-2 at the Stadio Nicola Pietrangeli.

Pennetta had to work hard for the win. She managed only one break in the first set against Hradecka and failed to hold her rhythm in the second.

Schiavone had a much easier match against Safarova and controlled the first set. The Czech player took a 2-0 lead in the second before Schiavone used her experience to sweep the last six games.

Reverse singles and doubles are Sunday. The winner will face either the United States or Russia in the Fed Cup final.