BIELLA, ITALY: Italy booked their place in the last four with a 3-2 win over Ukraine in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first round in Biella, a result that maintained their position as the No. 1 ranked nation in the competition. The Italians face a trip to play defending champions Czech Republic in the semifinals.
After four topsy-turvy singles matches that saw Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko, the world No. 121, pick up wins over both Francesca Schiavone and Sara Errani, the tie went down to the deciding fifth rubber. The Italian doubles pairing of Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci sealed the vital point for the hosts by defeating Tsurenko and Olga Savchuk in three sets.