Home>News Center>Sports

U.S. team ousts Belgium to reach Fed semis
Updated: 2005-04-25 09:35

Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams won in singles and the United States claimed the doubles match to sweep Belgium on Sunday and advance to the semifinals of the Fed Cup.

Venus Williams returns a hit back to Leslie Butkiwicz, of Belgium, during the Fed Cup Quarterfinals in Delray Beach, Fla., Sunday, April 24, 2005. Williams defeated Butkiwicz, 6-1, 6-4. [AP]

Top-ranked Davenport defeated Els Callens 6-4, 6-0 to put the U.S. team ahead 3-0 in the best-of-five quarterfinal.

Williams followed by beating Leslie Butkiewicz, 6-1, 6-4, in the second match on Sunday, and Davenport and partner, Corina Morariu, posted a 6-1, 6-2 win over Kirsten Flipkens and Eveline Vanhyfte to complete the sweep.

The Americans advanced to the semifinals July 9-10 at defending champion Russia, a 4-1 winner at Italy. France will face Spain in the other semifinal. The French beat Austria 4-1 and Spain eliminated Argentina 3-2 in the other quarterfinals.

"I didn't feel I played that great in the first set," said Davenport, who has a 25-2 Fed Cup singles record. "I made some sloppy errors but I got better in the second set. What I wanted to do was go out there and seal it up 3-0 and get the tie over with."

Davenport confirmed her commitment to the U.S. Fed Cup team.

"When I talked to (U.S. captain Zina Garrison) on the phone, I told her that I wanted to play, but I wanted to play to win," Davenport said.

Davenport said she tried to get a commitment from sisters Serena and Venus Williams to play in Russia. Davenport called their response positive but not a guarantee.

Venus Williams said she would like to join the U.S. squad in Russia, but had some concerns about making the early commitment.

"Sticking points?" asked Williams, when asked why she might not play. "The only thing that I wouldn't go to Russia is the (tournament) schedule is just too tough. That's the only hard part."

The Russian squad could feature Anastasia Myskina, Elena Dementieva, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Sharapova. U.S. captain Zina Garrison knows she'll need her best players.

"I have told them that I'm going to need each and every one of them," she said. "We have to have our top guns to go in there with."

The Americans hold a 4-0 lead over Russia in Fed Cup play, but they have not met since the Russian women surged to the top of the game.

The Belgians were without former No. 1 players Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters. They recently returned from injuries and want to concentrate on the Grand Slams.

At Brindisi, Italy, Dementieva of Russia survived four match points in the second set of her reverse singles to rally to a 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-0 victory over Francesca Schiavone. Elena Bovina beat Maria Elena Camerin 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 to give Russia an unbeatable 3-1 lead. Russia won doubles in straight sets. The Russians were without Myskina, Sharapova and Kuznetsova.

At Portschach, Austria, Virginie Razzano, a replacement for injured Amelie Mauresmo, won her second singles match with a 6-3, 7-6 (2) win over Yvonne Meusburger. Nathalie Dechy beat 14-year-old Tamira Paszek 7-6 (5), 6-2 to give France a 3-1 lead. Dechy and Razzano stopped twins Daniella and Sandra Klemenschits 6-4, 7-5 in the doubles.

At Jerez, Spain, the Spanish team squandered a 2-0 lead and needed a doubles victory to advance. Anabel Medina and Nuria Llagostera downed Gisela Dulko and Maria Emilia Salerni 6-4, 6-4. Argentina had tied it after Dulko topped Marta Marrero 6-0, 6-3, and Mariana Diaz Oliva beat Llagostera 7-6 (6), 6-4.

"I didn't breathe easily until the last point," Spanish coach Miguel Margets said.

Ferrero wins first round in Barcelona
A farewell to Armstrong
Rockets beat Clippers 115-90, win 6th straight
  Today's Top News     Top Sports News

Officials react angrily to US moves on yuan



China, Japan mend fences, pitfalls ahead



Chen ‘okays’ opposition leader's visit



Legislators examine motion on HK chief



Jurors to help decide court verdicts



Jilin coal mine flooding traps 69 men


  U.S. team ousts Belgium to reach Fed semis
  Manchester United beat Newcastle 2-1
  Barcelona crush Malaga 4-0
  Nedved and Juventus keep pace with AC Milan
  Guangdong defend CBA title
  Andy Roddick reaches clay court finals
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools