WORLD GROUP I
Russia d. Spain 3-2
Maria Sharapova and Svletlana Kuznetsova eased to wins to give Russia a 2-0 lead. After a singles loss by Nadia Petrova, Kuznetsova clinched the tie with a three-set win over Spain’s unheralded Silvia Soler-Espinosa.
Czech Republic d. Germany 4-1
Petra Kvitova (10-8 in third) and Iveta Benesova weather tough three-set wins over Julia Goerges and Sabine Lisicki respectively in the openers. Kvitova then clinched the 3-0 sweep, beating Lisicki in three sets 6-1 in the third.
Serbia d. Belgium 3-2
Yanina Wickmayer wins two for Belgium, but gets no support from compatriot Kirsten Flipkens who loses both her singles. In the deciding doubles Wickmayer and Alison Van Uytvanck lose to Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski and Aleksandra Krunic in three.
Italy d. Ukraine 3-2
Italy wins in the deciding doubles when Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci top Lesia Tsurenko and Olga Savchuk 7-5, 0-6, 6-1.
WORLD GROUP II
Japan d. Slovenia 5-0
Kimiko Date-Krumm wins one and Ayumi Morita two in singles to move Japan into the World Group Playoffs.
Slovak Republic d. France 3-2
Day One ended even as Slovak Daniela Hantuchova defeated Paulina Parmentier 9-7 in the third, and France’s Virginie Razzano beat Dominika Cibulkova in straights. On Day Two the Slovak’s clinched the tie, with Cibulkova beating Parmentier, and Hantuchova topping France’s Alize Cornet, both in straight sets.
Australia d. Switzerland 4-1
On Day One Sam Stosur beat Timea Bacsinszky in straights, but Swiss Stefanie Voegele kept the home team in it with a courageous win over Jarmila Gajdosova 8-6 in the third. The Aussie took control on the second day as Stosur beat Voegele in straights and Gajdosova outlasted Swiss Amra Sadikovic 8-6 in the third.
U.S. d. Belarus 5-0
Victoria Azarenka’s injury leaves Belarus without big guns as Americans Christine McHale and Serena Williams do the damage for the U.S., handing losses to Belarus’ Anastasia Yakimova and Olga Govortsova.
Berdych Outlasts Monfils for ATP Montpellier Title
Top seed Tomas Berdych beat No. 3 seed Gael Monfils 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to win the Open Sud de France title in Montpellier. Monfils double faulted serving at 3-4 on game point in the third set, handing the Czech an easy route to the title.
“It was a close match, decided by one or two points,” Berdych said. “I’m happy that I was the one to become the champion and get the last break and finish it with my serve.”
Berdych improved to 7-6 in finals, and Monfils fell to 4-13 in career championship matches. “I was really close today, maybe Tomas was a bit more successful at the end,” Monfils said. “He really went for it more than I did and it worked.”
Youzhny Denies Title Virgin Lacko in ATP Zagreb Final
No. 3 seed Mikhail Youzhny beat first-time finalist Lukas Lacko 6-2, 6-3 in the PBZ Zagreb Indoors final on Sunday, the eighth career title for the Russian.
Youzhny improved to 4-0 career over Lacko and 8-10 in career title matches. “I wasn’t nervous. I didn’t play my best,” Lacko said. “He was just too good today. If I take my four matches before, I was the one applying pressure, attacking most of the shots. Today was the opposite. I was under pressure.”
In the doubles final Youzhny and Marcos Baghdatis beat wildcards Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic 6-2, 6-2.
Monaco Denies Title Virgin Berlocq in ATP Vina del Mar Final
Juan Monaco ended a five-year title drought at the VTR Open, beating first-time ATP finalist Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-1 in the all-Argentine final in Vina del Mar, Chile.
Monaco improved to 4-8 in career finals. “Third time is lucky they say, so this time it’s true,” Monaco said. “I lost the last seven finals, so this is a very special moment for me.”
It was only the second tournament for Monaco after losing in the first round of the Australian Open. In the second set I started playing a little bit nervous and he came back, fought a lot, and at that time played really well,” Monaco said. “I tried to be very focused, tried to fight for every point like it was the last one and I started playing better every game.”
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