Vinci: It's maybe the best day of my career
Italy will face last year’s winners Czech Republic in the Fed Cup World Group semi-final after the three-time champions saw off USA 3-2 in Rimini
The world No.1 pair of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci clinched the decisive doubles rubber against USA’s Liezel Huber and Varvara Lepchenko to reach the final four for the fifth consecutive year.
The USA, who were without the Williams sisters and Australian Open star Sloane Stephens, took a surprise 2-1 lead in the tie when Lepchenko followed up her opening day victory over Vinci by beating world No. 7 Errani 7-5 6-2.
The Italian No.2 Vinci then leveled the tie at 2-2, recovering from a second set wobble to beat Jamie Hampton in three sets, before joining forces with teammate Errani to clinch the tie and bring her personal Fed Cup doubles record to 18-0.
"It's maybe the best day of my career," Vinci said. "We really wanted it, we were very tired but today we managed to show a lot of heart, a lot of personality. We are a great team.”
Petra Kvitova showed glimpses of her best tennis as she led Czech Republic to a 4-0 victory over an Australian team that fielded a mix of experience and youth. The former Wimbledon champion fought off a match point to beat Sam Stosur in three sets, giving the defending champions an unassailable 3-0 lead.
"It was my first really good match this year," Kvitova said. "When I lost the first set I didn’t want to give up the match, I knew the next matches could be very tough, which is why I fought a lot.”
Russia are also through to the semi-final after world No.20 Ekaterina Makarova followed up her first ever Fed Cup singles victory by pairing with Elena Vesnina to clinch the decisive doubles rubber to beat Japan 3-2 in Moscow. The four-time champions will now host Slovak Republic, who saw off a depleted Serbian team 3-1.
For a full round-up of all the scores from the Fed Cup check out www.fedcup.com