Elena Vesnina and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Sabine Lisicki and Andrea Petkovic in the deciding doubles rubber of the Fed Cup World Group semi-final against Germany on Sunday to put Russia into the final.
Vesnina and Pavlyuchenkova won 6-2 6-3 in one hour 24 minutes to earn a berth in the final against the Czech Republic, who swept France aside with an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the other semi-final.
The Russian duo looked confident from the start producing three breaks in the opening set for a 1-0 lead after 38 minutes, while Lisicki and Petkovic broke back once.
The second set was almost a carbon copy of the first as the Russians broke their opponents’ serve on three more occasions sealing their victory with an ace by Pavlyuchenkova.
Earlier on Sunday, Germany’s Angelique Kerber beat Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 6-0 to level the match at 2-2.
“I was obliged to win. Therefore, I was nervous at first. But then I started winning my points,” Kerber said.
“The title which I won last week allowed me to feel confidence. That victory came at the right time.”
The 27-year-old Kerber, winner of Charlestone WTA event last week, looked in command from the start, breaking Pavlyuchenkova’s serve twice to take the opening set in just 25 minutes before starting the second with yet another break.
Later in the second, the left-handed German broke twice again to take the set to love and the match, sending the tie into the decisive fifth rubber.
In Sunday’s opening match, Petkovic reduced the arrears with a 6-2 6-1 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova.
“Yesterday’s rest really played a big role for me,” Petkovic said.
“I don’t know how I would play yesterday, but I know that two days of play for me is not possible.
“The score tells nothing about this match. Some games in the first set were very close. Both of us showed very good claycourt tennis during the first set.”
World No.11 Petkovic started confidently, breaking her opponent’s serve three times to take the opening set in 41 minutes, while Kuznetsova, 29, broke back only once.
In the second, Petkovic underlined her supremacy on the red claycourt of Sochi’s Adler Arena as she produced two more breaks to chalk up her team’s first point.
“I failed to adjust myself completely for the claycourts – that’s the main reason for my defeat today,” Kuznetsova said.