Lepchenko helps Americans avoid 0-2 hole

The United States and host Italy are even at 1-1 in their best-of-five opening-round Fed Cup tie.

Fed Cup rookie Varvara Lepchenko rallied from a set down to beat Italian Roberta Vinci 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 on the red clay at Rimini's 105 Stadium.

Earlier Saturday, Sara Errani needed only 62 minutes to post a resounding 6-2, 6-1 victory over American Jamie Hampton, who, like Lepchenko, is a Fed Cup rookie.

Sunday's reverse singles have Errani facing Lepchenko and Vinci taking on Hampton, while the doubles match tentatively pits an American duo of Liezel Huber and Melanie Oudin versus an Italian pairing of Nastassja Burnett and Karin Knapp, even though Errani and Vinci were the Australian Open doubles champions last month.

The United States leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles, but hasn't captured the chalice since 2000, while Italy is seeking a third title in five years.

The USA-Italy winner will face the Australia-Czech Republic victor in a semifinal in April.