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Last Updated: Monday, 4 February 2008, 12:08 GMT
USA reach semi-finals of Fed Cup
Lindsay Davenport
Davenport recovered from a shock defeat on day one
The United States secured their place in the Fed Cup semi-finals with a rain-delayed 4-1 win over Germany in La Jolla, California, on Monday.

The hosts began the day tied at 1-1 after rain had stopped play on Sunday, but victories for Lindsay Davenport and Ashley Harkleroad wrapped up the win.

A trip to defending champions Russia awaits in the last four, while Spain will face China in the other semi.

The Fed Cup semi-finals will take place on 26-27 April.

Russia v USA
China v Spain

Davenport had suffered a shock defeat by Germany's Sabine Lisicki on Saturday but made amends with a 6-1 6-2 win over Julia Goerges in the crucial reverse singles.

And Harkleroad claimed her second victory of the tie to seal a semi-final place as she beat Lisicki 6-4 7-5.

Davenport and Lisa Raymond then beat Tatjana Malek and Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-2 6-0 in the doubles rubber.

On Sunday, Russia overcame Israel 4-1 thanks in large part to Fed Cup debutant and newly-crowned Australian Open champion, Maria Sharapova.

Maria Sharapova
Sharapova has a message for the Israeli crowd

The tie against Israel in Ramat Hasharon was level at 1-1 on Saturday night before Sharapova won her second rubber of the weekend, beating Shahar Peer 6-1 6-1.

Anna Chakvetdaze then subdued Tzipi Obziler 6-4 6-2 despite waging an ongoing war of wills with the hostile Israeli crowd.

Sharapova, fresh from her Melbourne triumph, handed Peer her first defeat in 11 Fed Cup outings.

"She actually gave me confidence because she was encouraging the crowd," Sharapova said of Peer.

"In a way I felt she was telling me 'I need their help, I can't do it on my own'.

"It was great, I said to myself I'm going to take my chances and win the match. I'm glad I could finish it off in style."


Elena Vesnina and Dinara Safina completed the win, beating Obziler and Peer 6-0 1-6 6-4 in the doubles.

In Beijing, China beat France 3-2 to reach the last four for the first time.

Having opened up 2-0 lead going into Sunday's final day, the hosts required just one more rubber to wrap up the tie.

Top-ranked Li Na lost 4-6 6-2 6-4 to Virginie Razzano and Yan Zi was beaten by Nathalie Dechy 6-3 6-2.

In the decider, China fielded 2006 Wimbledon doubles champions Yan and Zheng Jie and the pair won 7-5 7-6 (7-5) against Dechy and Razzano.

They will face Spain for a place in the final after Anabel Medina Garrigues stunned Francesca Schiavone 6-4 6-1 for an unassailable lead as the visitors came through 3-2 in Naples.

Sharapova wins on Fed Cup debut
02 Feb 08 |  Tennis


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