The final of the 2013 edition of the Federation Cup was played on the red clay of Cagliari, Sardinia, on Sunday afternoon and was comprehensively won by Italy, who defeated a very below par and inexperienced Russian team 4-0.
In the first match on Saturday afternoon, world number 13, Roberta Vinci, took on 136th ranked Alexandra Panova who was playing in her first Fed Cup. The young Russian was in the driving seat throughout much of the match and lead 7-5 5-2 and serving for the match, the determined Italian saved all three match points against her to break back and go on to take the set 7-5 before taking the deciding tie break 8-6 – also saving a match point – in a thrilling encounter which lasted for three hours and thirteen minutes.
The second match saw world number 7 Sara Errani play the unknown 18 year old, Irina Khromacheva, who is ranked at 236 and who was also playing in her first Fed Cup. The Italian sailed through the first set, but the Russian fought well in the second to lead 4-2 before Errani’s experience saw her take the set 6-4 for an Italian 2-0 lead.
On Sunday afternoon Errani wrapped up the victory when she convincingly beat Alisa Kleybanova whose highest ranking was 11 before she became ill and was off the tour for some time. She is now ranked at 183. Errani won 6-1 6-1 in just 59 minutes of classy tennis. The 4th reverse singles match was not played, but the doubles match went ahead with Karin Knapp and Flavia Pannetta taking on Khromachev and Margarita Gasparyan. The Italian team won a tough encounter 4-6 6-2 10-4.
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