Between them, Italy and Russia have held the Fed Cup title since 2004 – Russia won in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008, while Italy was crowned champion in 2006, 2009 and 2010.
The teams met at this stage of the competition two years ago and it was the Italians who prevailed 4-1 that day. The reigning champions will be looking for more of the same to extend their unbeaten run in the competition to nine matches. The last time Corrado Barazzutti’s team lost a Fed Cup tie was in February 2008, when Spain defeated them in a World Group first round tie in Naples.
Russia, who leads Italy 4-1 in previous meetings, advanced to the semifinals for the fifth year running after becoming just the fourth nation to come back from 0-2 down to defeat France in this year’s first round tie in Moscow.