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Ekaterina Makarova, Elena Vesnina complete Russia Fed Cup rally

April 21, 2013 at 3:31 PM

MOSCOW, April 21 (UPI) -- The Russian doubles team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina bested their Slovakian opponents Sunday, completing an improbable Fed Cup semifinal rally.

The Russians advanced to play either Italy or the Czech Republic in November's final after Makarova and Vesnina prevailed over the Slovak duo of Dominika Cibulkova and Daniela Hantuchova 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, competing Russia's desperate comeback from a 2-0 deficit.

Russia seemed on the verge of defeat after Maria Kirilenko fell to Hantuchova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was bested by Cibulkova in Saturday's first two singles matches.

But the Russians they stormed back in Sunday's reverse singles match-ups.

Kirilenko first prevented a Slovakian sweep with a 7-5, 6-1 triumph over Cibulkova and Makarova continued the rally a with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over Hantuchova, setting up the decisive doubles showdown.

Russia's opponent in the Fed Cup final will be determined Monday when Italy and the Czech Republic complete their rain-delayed semifinal in Palermo, Italy.

The Italians hold a 2-1 lead in that series.

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