Published November 20, 2014
Lesia Tsurenko routed 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 6-2 Saturday, leaving Ukraine tied with Italy after their opening singles matches at the Fed Cup.
Earlier on the indoor red-clay court at the Lauretana Forum, Sara Errani followed her quarterfinal appearance at the Australian Open by beating Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2, 6-3.
Reverse singles and doubles in the first-round, best-of-five series is Sunday.
The 121st-ranked Tsurenko dominated with a big serve and accurate volleys, while Schiavone lacked her usual aggressiveness and fleet footwork.
Errani broke early in each set and was never really challenged by the 89th-ranked Bondarenko. The 34th-ranked Errani usually plays doubles for Italy, but captain Corrado Barazzutti decided to use her in singles because of her results in Australia and Flavia Pennetta's back injury.
"It's never easy to open in Fed Cup but it was a good match, very quick. She was hitting really hard," said Errani. "For me, Fed Cup is the best thing all year."
Errani was beaten by Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in the Australian Open quarters. She also reached the doubles final in Melbourne, pairing with Vinci in a loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva of Russia.
Italy won the Fed Cup in 2006, 2009 and 2010. But in its previous outing, it played without Schiavone and Pennetta and lost to Russia 5-0 in last year's semfinals, ending its winning streak of eight series. Italy has won all three of its series with Ukraine.