U.S. sweeps Fed Cup singles
LIEVIN, France — Melanie Oudin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands won the opening singles to give the United States a 2-0 lead against France in the quarterfinals of the Fed Cup.
Oudin defeated Pauline Parmentier, 6-4, 6-4, after Mattek-Sands outlasted Alize Cornet, 7-6 (7), 7-5, in the first match.
"Both players on my team just really kept it together mentally and that was the difference," said U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez.
Both teams were without their best players. Top-ranked Serena Williams and No. 5 Venus Williams skipped the event while France played without Marion Bartoli, Aravane Rezai and Virginie Razzano.
In other quarterfinal Fed Cup matches, defending champion Italy and Ukraine were tied at 1-1, along Russia and Serbia (1-1) and Germany and Czech Republic (1-1).
The 140th-ranked Mattek-Sands rallied from 5-2 down in the first set and clinched the tiebreaker after an unforced error from Cornet. She converted her third match point when Cornet netted an approach shot.
"Alize is a great player and I knew I was going to have to grind the match out," Mattek-Sands said. "I knew it wasn't going to be easy and I think that coming with that mindset really helped me. ... It was very tight, it could have gone either way."
SA Open: Feliciano Lopez of Spain and Stephane Robert of France advanced to the final of the SA Open yesterday in Johannesburg after eliminating the two highest-seeded players. Lopez upset top-seeded Gael Monfils of France, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1), while Robert ousted second-seeded David Ferrer of Spain, 7-5, 6-4.
Zagreb Indoors: Defending champion Marin Cilic of Croatia beat third-seeded Juergen Melzer of Austria, 7-6 (5), 6-4, yesterday to reach the Zagreb Indoors final at Zagreb, Croatia. The top-seeded Cilic will play Michael Berrer, who beat fellow German Philipp Petzschner, 7-6 (6), 7-5.
Movistar Open: Third-seeded Thomaz Bellucci upset top-seeded Fernando Gonzalez, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, yesterday to reach the finals of the Movistar Open at Santiago, Chile. He will play Juan Monaco, who defeated Brazilian qualifier Joao Souza, 6-1, 6-4.