Serbia knocks off Russia to reach Fed Cup final
Moscow, Russia – Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic won singles matches Sunday to lift Serbia past Russia and into the Fed Cup final.
After the two nations split a pair of singles matches on Saturday, Ivanovic gave the Serbs a 2-1 edge with a 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Both were losers in Saturday's matches.
It then came down to Saturday's winners and Jankovic gave the Serbs the clinching point in the best-of-five tie with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Serbia advanced to its first Fed Cup final and will visit the Czech Republic for the title in November. The Czechs, who beat the Russians in last year's final, advanced Sunday by beating Italy in the other semifinal.
Ivanovic had a rough start on Sunday, dropping each of the first five games against Pavlyuchenkova. She then won three straight before Pavlyuchenkova broke serve to capture the opening set.
The former French Open champion quickly regrouped and dominated from there, winning the next 10 games. She dropped a mere 10 points in a second set that lasted only 25 minutes, then broke twice in winning the first four games of the third set, polishing it off with another break.
Jankovic took the momentum into the following match and ripped through the first set with a pair of breaks. Kuznetsova then opened the second set by winning the first three games, only to watch as Jankovic stormed back with five straight.
Kuznetsova managed to hold serve, forcing Jankovic to serve it out, which she did to set off a court celebration in front of the disappointed Russian fans.
The four-time Fed Cup champion Russians had beaten the Serbs in their lone previous matchup -- a first-round affair two years ago.