Slovak Republic opens Fed Cup with 2-0 lead over Russia

April 20, 2013 at 2:36 PM

MOSCOW, April 20 (UPI) -- The Slovak Republic notched two singles victories Saturday in the opening matches of their Fed Cup semifinals series against Russia.

The Slovaks hold a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five series and can advance to the finals in November with a victory Sunday in reverse singles and doubles play.

Dominika Cibulkova won the first singles match Saturday by rallying for a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Daniela Hantuchova followed with a straight-set 6-2, 6-4 victory over Maria Kirilenko.

Cibulkova can clinch the series when she faces Kirilinko in reverse singles. The match will be followed, if necessary, by the doubles match featuring Jana Cepelova and Magdalena Rybarikova against the Russian team of Elena Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

The winner of the series will meet in the finals against the winner of semifinals contest between Italy and the Czech Republic.

Italy took a 2-0 lead over the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup semifinals Saturday with singles victories by Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

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