Fed Cup semi-finals: Czech Repulic lead Italy, Germany on top against Australia
Last Updated: 19/04/14 5:45pm
Lucie Safarova: Helped Czech Republic take a 2-0 lead against Italy
Defending champions Italy are on the brink of elimination from the Fed Cup after going 2-0 down in their semi-final with the Czech Republic.
Lucie Safarova defeated Sara Errani 6-4 6-1 before Petra Kvitova clinched a 6-4 6-2 win over Camila Giorgi in Ostrava on Saturday.
Italy and the Czech Republic have won the last five Fed Cup titles between them and the latter side are now big favourites to progress to this year's final.
The hosts need to win just one of the remaining three rubbers to set up a clash with either Germany or Australia.
"I was a little nervous at the start, I made mistakes too quickly,” Safarova said of her win over Errani. "I regained my focus, I started to follow the tactic I had set before the game and then it went well.”
In the other semi-final, Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber gave Germany a 2-0 against Australia in Brisbane after defeating Samantha Stosur and Casey Dellacqua respectively.
Stosur could not recover from a poor start as she was beaten 6-1 7-6 (9-7) by Petkovic, while Kerber needed just 50 minutes to see off Australian No 2 Dellacqua 6-1 6-0.
Germany need to win just one of the remaining three rubbers to reach the final for the first time since 1992.
"I saw two great matches and I was very proud of the performance of my two girls," Germany captain Barbara Rittner said.
"There are still three points to go and tomorrow is a new day. I think the matches were closer than they look. It was one of those days when Angie played a perfect match against Casey."