20 Apr - 21 Apr 2013, Circolo del Tennis Palermo, Palermo, Italy, Clay, Outdoor
Three-time champions Italy host a Czech Republic side bidding for its third consecutive Fed Cup title in 2013 in a box office semifinal clash. The two teams have met on eight previous occasions but though the head-to-head stands at 4-4, Italy have won four of their last five encounters. Czech Republic defeated Italy at this stage last year and have not lost a Fed Cup match since April 2010, incidentally to their next opponents.
Italy booked a spot in their fifth straight World Group semifinal after coming back from 2-1 down to defeat USA in Rimini. Varvara Lepchenko stunned both Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani to put the visitors 2-1 up after Errani had given Italy the lead, but Vinci put the hosts back on track with a singles win over Jamie Hampton before combining with Errani to defeat Lepchenko and Huber in the deciding doubles.
Petra Kvitova led the line for Czech Republic once again as Czech Republic defeated Australia 4-0 in the World Group first round in Ostrava. Kvitova defeated Jarmila Gajdosova and Sam Stosur, extending her record in singles rubbers to 13 wins in her last 14 matches, to add to Lucie Safarova’s surprise victory over Stosur in the second rubber. Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka compounded the visitors' misery with a comfortable win over Australian Open finalists Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the dead doubles rubber.
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