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Page last updated at 07:17 GMT, Monday, 8 November 2010

Italy defeat US to retain Fed Cup title

Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta
Schiavone and Pennetta were the main architects of Italy's win

Holders Italy won their third Fed Cup in five years with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over the United States.

Flavia Pennetta secured the decisive point, beating Coco Vandeweghe 6-1 6-2 in San Diego, meaning the final doubles rubber need not be played.

Italy had opened up a 2-0 lead after Pennetta and French Open champion Francesca Schiavone won their opening singles matches on Saturday.

Melanie Oudin beat Schiavone 6-3 6-1 on Sunday to pick up America's point.

That result kept a relatively inexperienced US team, who were without the injured Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, in the match.

Oudin, who had only been scheduled to play in the doubles, took on Schiavone as American number one Bethanie Mattek-Sands was forced to withdraw through illness.

The 19-year-old Oudin had never taken a set off her Italian opponent in two prior meetings but she took advantage of Schiavone's poor serving to give the US team hope of avenging their defeat by Italy in last year's final of the Fed Cup.

However, Pennetta proved too strong for 18-year-old world number 114 Vandeweghe in the final singles match.


The American did break serve in the opening game of the tie, but she went on to make 27 unforced errors in the set as Pennetta upped her game to take the next six games.

"She was just too nervous after like the second game, when I won in 14 or 15 minutes, a really long game," said Pennetta.

"But then I started to play really aggressive. I was really consistent. I didn't make a lot of mistakes, I was moving her a lot."

Schiavone and Pennetta won their opening singles matches on Saturday to put the Italians into a commanding position.

Schiavone beat Vandeweghe 6-2 6-4 in the opening rubber in San Diego while Pennetta saved a set point before defeating American number one Mattek-Sands 7-6 6-2.

"A team like that in five years to win three Fed Cups and one final is a great team, a fantastic team," stated Italian captain Corrado Barazzutti.

Francesca Schiavone

Impressive Schiavone claims title

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see also
Italy to face US in Fed Cup final
25 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Italy rout US in Fed Cup final
08 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Schiavone win down to self-belief
05 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Schiavone wins French Open title
05 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Venus ruled out for rest of 2010
06 Oct 10 |  Tennis
Serena confirms end of her season
19 Oct 10 |  Tennis

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