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November 8, 2009

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Home » Sports » Tennis

Pennetta draws first blood

FLAVIA Pennetta overpowered Alexa Glatch 6-3, 6-1 to give host Italy a 1-0 lead over the United States in the Fed Cup final at Reggio Calabria yesterday.

The second singles rubber between Melanie Oudin and Francesca Schiavone was then suspended because of heavy rain with the American leading 4-2 in the first set.

The pair had earlier been held up for a short weather break at 1-1 before Oudin moved ahead.

Rain is also forecast today when the reverse singles and doubles match are scheduled.

Under overcast skies in the opening match, world No. 11 Pennetta quickly imposed herself and broke Glatch to go 2-1 up thanks in part to a superb drop shot.

She then sealed the first set when Glatch was broken again after going long.

Pennetta lost focus slightly at the start of the second set, being broken in the first game, but stormed straight back with a graceful winner to level at 1-1 and easily wrapped up the match.

"It was very emotional with the national anthem (before play started). I almost wanted to cry," the Italian told a news conference.

"I managed to play out the game well without being too spectacular but staying calm."

Italy is chasing its second Fed Cup title.

Serena and Venus Williams decided not to compete for the United States in the final.

In Nusa Dua, Indonesia, top-seeded Marion Bartoli and compatriot Aravane Rezai scored straight-set victories yesterday to line up an all-French final at the US$600,000 Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions.

Bartoli outclassed Japanese Kimiko Date-Krumm, 6-1, 6-3 in an 85-minute opening contest. Date-Krumm, who was seeded 12th, had reached the semifinals after Yanina Wickmayer withdrew because of a one-year doping suspension.

In the second match, 10th-seeded Rezai defeated sixth-seeded Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain 6-2, 6-3 in only 64 minutes to advance to today's final.

In Basel, World No. 1 Roger Federer breezed into the Swiss Indoors semifinals on Friday but the home crowd's hopes of an all-Swiss final were dashed as Novak Djokovic rallied past Stanislas Wawrinka.

Federer overcame Evgeny Korolev 6-3, 6-2 and will face unseeded compatriot Marco Chiudinelli, a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Frenchman Richard Gasquet, in the semifinal.

Wawrinka, the other home quarterfinalist, won the first set against the world No. 3 and was a break up in the second. But the Serb broke back, won the second set tiebreak and eased through the third to win 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2.

Djokovic will face fifth seed Radek Stepanek who beat fourth seed Marin Cilic 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.


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