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Women's Tennis (WTA)

Russia beats Spain to reach Fed Cup semis



Moscow, Russia (Sports Network) - Svetlana Kuznetsova outlasted Silvia Soler- Espinosa in the fourth rubber to give Russia an insurmountable 3-1 lead over Spain in their best-of-five Fed Cup quarterfinal.

Russia entered Sunday's action with a 2-0 lead, but Carla Suarez Navarro brought Spain within one in the day's first reverse singles match with a 6-0, 6-3 straight-set victory over Nadia Petrova at Olympic Stadium.

Soler-Espinosa then battled back after dropping the first set to Kuznetsova, but failed to convert on her two break chances in the third to fall 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

The Russians got easy singles victories from Australian Open runner-up Maria Sharapova and Kuznetsova here on Saturday.

In a dead doubles rubber on Sunday, a Spanish team of Nuria Llagostera Vives and Arantxa Parra Santonja was leading a Russian tandem of Kuznetsova and Petrova 6-3 after one set when the Russians retired, as the hosts settled for a 3-2 victory this weekend.

Russia, last year's runner-up to the Czech Republic, is a four-time Fed Cup champ and will host Serbia in the semifinals in April.

The five-time champion Spaniards were playing in the Fed Cup's World Group for the first time since 2009. They fell to 1-6 against the Russians in Fed Cup play.

02/05 17:20:42 ET

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