11 February 2013

Highlights: Russia 3-2 Japan


MOSCOW, RUSSIA: Russia held off a spirited fightback from Japan to advance to the Fed Cup by BNP semifinals. Ayumi Morita won both of her singles rubbers for Japan to give them a 2-1 lead before Ekaterina Makarova won the final singles rubber and teamed up with Elena Vesnina to seal the victory for the hosts.

Maria Kirilenko got Russia off to the best possible start on day one as she defeated Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm in straight sets. Morita then beat Makarova to ensure the tie finished day one level. Kirilenko could not play in the reverse singles and Morita capitalised, defeating Elena Vesnina in straight sets to give Japan the lead.

Makarova faced very little difficulty in defeating Date-Krumm to set up a deciding doubles rubber. There was to be no upset for Japan, however, as Makarova partnered Vesnina to defeat the Japanese pair of Morita and Misaki Doi in straight sets.

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