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Tennis | Fed Cup

Jelena Jankovic © Reuters

Jankovic puts Serbia into Fed Cup final

Former world No 1 Jelena Jankovic put Serbia into the Fed Cup final with a straight-sets win over Russia's two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova on Sunday.

Jankovic won 6-1, 6-4 in one hour 36 minutes to put her country into the Fed Cup final for the first time.

In that final the Serbs will face reigning champions Czech Republic, who also clinched an unassailable 3-1 advantage in the other semifinal match against Italy.

"I'm very happy to win the deciding point for my country," Jankovic said. "It's the first time that Serbia have made the Fed Cup final and I'm proud to be a player in this team."

"I didn't expect to win so easy. I was just playing my tennis point by point trying to keep myself concentrated and it paid off. I'm really pleased with my playing today."

The 2008 US Open finalist Jankovic, who won her previous Fed Cup meeting with Kuznetsova in 2010, came into the match full of confidence, breaking her opponent's serve early for a comfortable 3-0 lead.

The 27-year-old Jankovic increased her lead with a break in the sixth game to take the opening set in 36 minutes.

In the second set Kuznetsova picked up steam to break Jankovic's serve early also clinching a 3-0 lead but Jankovic then stepped up a gear to take five consecutive games, the set, the match and a place in the final.

Earlier in the day Ana Ivanovic battled back from a set down to put Serbia 2-1 up with a 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

"Nastia (Pavlyuchenkova) shocked me with her strong start and I felt I lost my nerve completely," Ivanovic said. "Luckily, I managed to find my best form later in the match to win it."

"It's never easy to start in the Fed Cup, but I found the right rhythm in the second set and stayed with it all the way."

The 20-year-old Pavlyuchenkova came into the match full of confidence, producing four breaks to take the opening set in 40 minutes, while Ivanovic, the French Open champion in 2008, replied on only two occasions.

The second set resembled the first, but this time it was Ivanovic who was in the driving seat with three breaks of serve to level at one set all in just 25 minutes.

In the deciding set the 24-year-old Ivanovic was in complete command again breaking Pavlyuchenkova's serve twice to take a 4-0 lead before the Moscow resident reduced the arrears with a break in the eighth game.

But Ivanovic produced another break, sealing her victory on the clay court of Moscow Megasport arena with a forehand drive on her first match point.


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