Australia into Fed Cup semis
Update 2:00 pm: Australia has completed a 4-0 whitewash of under-strength Russia in the Fed Cup world group first round tie in Hobart.
Australia has completed a 4-0 whitewash of under-strength Russia in the Fed Cup world group first round tie in Hobart.
Sam Stosur downed Russian Victoria Kan 6-2 6-3 in the reverse singles, before Casey Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty won the doubles 6-1 6-3.
Stosur disposed of world No.158 Kan after Russia re-jigged their line-up to send their highest ranked player into reverse singles action in the first round World Group tie on Sunday.
The world No.16 had too much power and precision for her 18-year-old opponent, winning 24 of 25 points on her first serve in temperatures of more than 30 C in Hobart.
Australia last played a Fed Cup semifinal in 1993, when they went all the way to a decider against Spain.
They will now meet either Germany or Slovakia in April, the Germans holding a 2-0 lead in their tie in Bratislava.
The win is Australia’s first over Russia since 1983 as they eye a first Fed Cup victory in 40 years.
Third-ranked Russia, with their 13 highest ranked players, bow out having made the final in 2013.
Stosur rushed out to a 4-0 lead in the first before the Russian found enough to hold her next two service games.
But the Australian finished it emphatically, winning her service game to love with a 191 km/h ace, her sixth of the set.
In the second, she broke Kan twice, including to love in the final game as she claimed an emphatic victory.
“I don’t know if we could have hoped for anything better,” Stosur said.
“To win 3-0, it’s very satisfying.
“We’ve kind of done this bounce between (groups) for a little while so for now to progress and now be in the semis, it’s a great feeling.”
Australia led 2-0 after day one with singles wins to Stosur and Casey Dellacqua.
The second reverse singles rubber was not played.