Russians take control in Fed Cup

Russia remain on course for another Fed Cup title after taking a commanding 2-0 lead over Spain in the final.

Russia remain on course for another Fed Cup title after taking a commanding 2-0 lead over Spain in the final.

The defending champions dominated day one of the best-of-five rubbers final following wins for world number seven Svetlana Kuznetsova and ninth-ranked Vera Zvonareva in Saturday’s singles.

Russia will now secure their fourth Fed Cup title title in five years with a victory in any of the three remaining rubbers scheduled for Sunday.

Zvonareva gave Russia the upper hand with a 6-3 6-4 win over Anabel Medina Garrigues in the opening singles rubber and Kuznetsova added to that with a decisive 6-1 6-3 triumph over Carla Suarez-Navarro.

Although the final is taking place in Madrid, the Russians came into the clash as strong favourites, boasting the likes of top-10 players Kuznetsova and Zvonareva in their team.

In contrast, the Spanish have just one player ranked inside the top 45 – Medina Garrigues (29th).

Kuznetsova will attempt to clinch the title in Sunday’s first match when she faces Medina Garrigues, who has not won any of her four previous meetings against the 2004 US Open champion.

Zvonareva will go up against Suarez-Navarro in the remaining singles tie, although that could change if Russia have already secured the trophy.

The doubles match, which would be a winner-takes-all affair if the Spaniards managed to win both singles rubbers on Sunday, is expected to see the Russian duo of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina face Virginia Ruano-Pascal and Nuria Llagostera Vives.

Spain are attempting to win their first Fed Cup title since 1998.

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