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Battling Myskina lead Russia to first Fed Cup title
Updated: 2004-11-29 09:04

Anastasia Myskina and Vera Zvonareva powered Russia to its first Fed Cup title by winning the decisive doubles against title holder France on Sunday.

Anastasia Myskina of Russia returns the ball to France's Tatiana Golovin during the final Fed Cup tennis match in Moscow, November 27, 2004. Myskina won the match 6-4 7-6. [Reuters]

Russia, the hot favorites, had Myskina to thank for their nervy 3-2 victory in the final.

The French Open champion gave the home team all three points by winning both singles matches in the final before teaming up with Zvonareva to beat French pair Emilie Loit and Marion Bartoli, 7-6, 7-5.

The two nations were level at 2-2 after 16-year-old Tatiana Golovin kept alive France's hopes of retaining the title by crushing U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-4, 6-1, in the second reverse singles.

Myskina had put the home team ahead 2-1 when she eased past Nathalie Dechy, 6-3, 6-4.

The Russians were overwhelming favorites to win their first Fed Cup title against a French team missing world No. 2Amelie Mauresmo and two-time grand slam champion Mary Pierce.

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