• Fed Cup

Italy to face Russia in Fed Cup final

ESPN staff
April 22, 2013
Roberta Vinci booked Italy's place in their fifth Fed Cup final in eight years © AP

Italy will play Russia in the Fed Cup final after wrapping up victory in their rain-affected semi-final clash against the Czech Republic in Palermo.

Roberta Vinci wrapped up a 3-1 win with a 6-3 6-7(2) 6-3 victory over Lucie Safarova on Monday to send the Italians through to their fifth final in eight years.

Russia booked their spot in the final with a 3-2 victory over Slovakia, having hit back from 2-0 down on Sunday.

Italy had also opened up a 2-0 lead after Saturday's singles ties before former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova had given the Czechs hope with a 2-6 6-2 6-0 win over Sara Errani in the first of the reverse singles.

But increasingly heavy rain, which had already caused delays to Sunday's action, forced organisers to take the tie into a third day.

On their return, Vinci was forced to dig deep to seal a victory against Safarova. Having raced away with a commanding performance in the first set, the world No. 12 struggled to cope with the Czech in the second set.

Safarova atoned for being broken while serving to level the match at 5-4 by powering through the tiebreak, and moved into a 2-0 lead at the start of the third.

But Vinci stormed back, winning five of the next six games before sealing the tie on her third match point and sending Italy through to the final, to be played on November 2-3.

Elsewhere, Samantha Stosur and 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty both won their singles matches to wrap up a 3-1 win for Australia in their rain-delayed World Group play-off tie against Switzerland.

With all five rubbers rescheduled for Monday, former US Open champion Stosur defeated Swiss No. 2 Stefanie Voegele 6-0 6-4 before Romina Oprandi hit back for the hosts with a 6-2 6-3 win over Jarmila Gajdosova.

Stosur returned to outclass Oprandi 7-5 6-3, giving Barty the chance to wrap up the tie. The debutant did not disappoint, posting a 6-3 6-4 victory over Voegele, ranked 141 places above the teen at No. 56 in the world.

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