Fed Cup Roundup
U.S.-Belgium, France-Russia in semifinalsPosted: Sunday July 20, 2003 12:12 PM
Updated: Sunday July 20, 2003 6:24 PM
LONDON (AP) -- Chanda Rubin gave the United States what it needed Sunday, beating Francesca Schiavone of Italy 5-7, 6-4, 6-0 to send the Americans into the Fed Cup semifinals against Belgium.
In the other semifinal, which will be held the week starting Nov. 17 in venues yet to be determined, France will meet Russia. France beat Spain 4-1 while Russia crushed Slovenia 5-0 in the quarterfinals.
Rubin gave the United States an unbeatable 3-0 lead in Washington despite losing the first set.
Meghann Shaughnessy is set to play Rita Grande in the fourth singles match, while Rubin and Lisa Raymond are to take on Tathiana Garbin and Antonella Serra Zanetti in the doubles.
In Charleroi, Belgium, world No. 2 Clijsters took less than an hour to put away Janette Husarova 6-0, 6-1 in the first reverse singles match by powering three aces past her inexperienced opponent and forcing multiple errors.
French Open winner Henin-Hardenne also swept past her opponent, Lubomira Kurhajcova, 6-2, 6-1, in the second reverse singles.
"We look forward to playing the United States," said Clijsters, whose boyfriend, tennis star Lleyton Hewitt, watched from the sidelines.
"We're getting better so we're definitely looking forward to it."
In the doubles, Els Callens and Caroline Maes beat Kurhajcova and Jarmila Gajdosova 6-4, 7-5.
In Oviedo, Spain, Amelie Mauresmo and Stephanie Cohen-Aloro won the reverse singles to advance France to the semifinals for the first time since 1998.
Mauresmo beat Magui Serna 7-5, 6-2 and Cohen-Aloro -- who replaced Nathalie Dechy to play her first Fed Cup match -- defeated Antonia Sanchez Lorenzo 6-3, 6-4.
Spain won the meaningless doubles rubber, with Virginia Ruano Pascual and Anabel Medina Garrigues defeating the French pairing of Nathalie Dechy and Emilie Loit 6-4, 6-4.
Five-time Fed Cup titlist Spain was playing without tournament veterans Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. Martinez is sitting out the matches and Sanchez-Vicario retired in November.
France captain Guy Forget said he was looking forward to playing Russia. The two countries have met five times before in Fed Cup, with the Russians holding a 3-2 lead.
"It will be a great tie," Forget said. "They are a bit stronger than we are and we will have to play at least as well, if not better to win that."
Elena Bovina's win over Katarina Srebotnik in Portoroz, Slovenia, clinched Russia's semifinal berth.
Bovina, who replaced Saturday's singles winner Anastasia Myskina, won 7-6 (4), 6-2.
Russia's form is in contrast to last year where it lost in the opening round against Germany and had to beat China to stay in the World Group.
"Last year's defeat was a good lesson for us and we definitely don't want it to happen again," Bovina said.
Vera Zvonereva made her Fed Cup debut, replacing Elena Dementieva to beat Slovenia's Maja Matevzic 6-1, 6-2.
In the meaningless doubles match, Dementieva and Myskina downed Tina Krizan and Srebotnik 6-2, 6-3.