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Page last updated at 13:23 GMT, Sunday, 14 September 2008 14:23 UK

Russia cruise to Fed Cup defence

Svetlana Kuznetsova
Kuznetsova put the five-match tie tie on clay beyond doubt

Russia retained their Fed Cup title on after Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Spanish number one Anabel Medina Garrigues to give her team a 3-0 lead in the final.

The world number seven secured Russia's fourth Fed Cup crown in five years by winning the first match of the day 5-7 6-3 6-4 in two hours 39 minutes.

On Saturday, world number nine Vera Zvonareva beat Medina Garrigues 6-3 6-4 in the opening rubber of the tie.

Kuznetsova then dismissed 20-year-old Carla Suarez 6-3 6-1 in Madrid.

On Sunday, Kuznetsova had to dig in for her win as world number 29 Medina Garrigues tried to salvage some home pride on clay at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid.

But although she managed to capture the opening set, Kuznetsova stepped up a gear to polish off the tie.

"It was a tough match and I was never really close," said the Spaniard.

"She really stepped up on the big points (but) we can't criticise this team - we did very well to get to the final and we can be satisfied overall."

Russia later made in 4-0 as Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina defeated Nuria Llagostera Vives and Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 6-1 in the doubles.

Russia's strength in depth - with six players in the WTA top 20 - proved decisive, with the champions able to retain the trophy in the absence of star names such as Maria Sharapova and Olympic champion Elena Dementieva.


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