Sunday, July 15, 2007

Defending champions back in Fed Cup final

Italy's Francesa Schiavone has led her team, the defending champions, into another Fed Cup final

Team Italy, last year's Fed Cup champion, eeked its way out of a semifinal contest with France to return to the Fed Cup finals again this year. Today, Francesca Schiavone defeated France's Tatiana Golovin, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 to even things up, 2 matches apiece. Then she went straight to the doubles court, and with partner Roberta Vinci, defeated Severine Bremond and Nathalie Dechy, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2

Schiavone, a very gifted player, has seen her career take a serious decline in the last year or so. The most talented WTA player to have never won a tournament, despite being in several finals, Schiavone tends to cave in to pressure at big moments--except during Fed Cup. At Fed Cup, she appears to thrive on pressure. During the Fed Cup semifinal, she defeated not only Golovin, but also Amelie Mauresmo.

Other final Fed Cup scores:

Spain def. Czech Republic, 4-1
Germany def. Japan, 3-2
China def. Belgium, 4-1
Israel def. Austria, 4-1
Ukraine def. Australia, 4-1
Slovak Republic def. Serbia, 4-1
Croatia def. Chinese Taipei, 3-2

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