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Italy rout US in Fed Cup final

Italy team captain Corrado Barazzutti and players Francesca Schiavone, Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta
Italy's team captain and players celebrate their Fed Cup triumph

Italy earned their second Fed Cup title in three years with a resounding 4-0 win over the USA in Reggio Calabria.

Already 2-0 up overnight, Italy took an unassailable 3-0 lead when Flavia Pennetta beat Melanie Oudin 7-5 6-2 in Sunday's opening singles match.

The fourth singles was scrapped leaving just the doubles, which Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci won 4-6 6-4 11-9 against Vania King and Liezel Huber.

It was the first time Italy had beaten the USA in 10 Fed Cup meetings.

Italy's previous triumph was in Belgium in 2006 and they lost the 2007 final.


The Americans have won the trophy a record 10 times, but have not triumphed during the last nine years and failed to even win a set in three singles matches this year.

Serena and Venus Williams both opted not to play for the US after ending their season in Doha last week, meaning the American singles team consisted of 18-year-old Oudin and 20-year-old Alexa Glatch, who is ranked 132 in the world.

Despite the experience of losing, Oudin said she was glad to have been involved.

"For me, this is what I wanted. I wanted to come here. I wanted to play for my country," she said.

"I don't know, other people choose different things. Some people, I guess, didn't want to play as badly as I did.

"But I think that the team that we had here really wanted to be here. I think that was what should have happened."

The victory was the perfect end to the year for Pennetta, who is currently ranked 11th in the world but earlier this year became the first ever Italian woman to reach the world top 10.

"We're the world champions, it's simple," said Pennetta. "We've played against some great teams this year.

The Italians celebrated by launching captain Corrado Barazzutti up and down into the air, then running around the court dousing each other with water bottles.

"These girls are incredible," said Barazzutti. "They've written another chapter in Italian tennis history.

"I think they're one of the best teams in the history of Italian sports - not many other teams have won two titles in four years. The first victory was extraordinary and this one goes beyond expectations."

Saturday's results
Flavia Pennetta beat Alexa Glatch 6-3 6-1
Francesca Schiavone beat Melanie Oudin 7-6 6-2

Sunday results
Flavia Pennetta beat Melanie Oudin 7-5 6-2
Francesca Schiavone v Alexa Glatch - not played
Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci beat Liezel Huber/Vania King 4-6 6-3 11-9 (super tiebreak).

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see also
Serena pulls out of Fed Cup final
01 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Italy to face US in Fed Cup final
26 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Italy claim advantage in Fed Cup
25 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Injured Zvonareva out of Fed Cup
24 Apr 09 |  Tennis

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