The US has taken a 2-0 lead on day one of the Fed Cup World Group Playoff against Ukraine on Saturday.Â Christina McHale, who captured her third consecutive Fed Cup singles win lead offÂ the day beating Lesia Tsurenko, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
â€œI started off well in the first set and then she started to pick up her game in the second,” McHale said. “In the third set I donâ€™t think there was a turning point. It was pretty close going back and forth. I managed to hold my serve at 5-3, and I think I played a good game to close it out.â€
â€œShe came out really strong in the third,” said US Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez. “I discussed with her about focusing on the right things to make a good place for herself out there. When she does that, sheâ€™s really active with her footwork and becomes much more aggressive. She was able to do that right away and finish really strong. I was really pleased and proud of the way she closed out the third set.”
Serena Williams moved to 7-0 in Fed Cup singles play with byÂ defeating Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-1.
â€œI thought she played really well, ” Williams said of her opponent. “She has a good game. And sheâ€™s extremely young, so she has plenty of time for [her game] to be even better than what it is.â€
Fernandez added: â€œIt was a fantastic start by both Christina and Serena. They both really played their game. Christina did a good job to close out her match today. I thought Serena did a good job playing her first match on red clay. There were some bad bounces but [Serena] definitely made the adjustments, and really played aggressively. Both players did really well today.â€
Williams is expected to open Day Two against Tsurenko, followed by the second singles match with McHale and Svitolina. In doubles, Liezel Huber and Sloane Stephens are scheduled to face sisters Lyudmyla Kichenok and Nadiya Kichenok.
Should the U.S. win tomorrow, it would regain its Fed Cup World Group status and have a chance to compete for the Fed Cup title in 2013.
DAY/LOCAL TIMEÂ Â Â Â MATCHÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â PAIRING
Saturday, 11:30 a.m. Â Â Â Â Singles A:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Christina McHale (USA) Â def. Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
Singles B:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Serena Williams (USA) def. Â Elina Svitolina (UKR)Â 6-2, 6-1
Sunday, 11:00 a.m.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Singles C: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) vs. Serena Williams (USA)
Singles D: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Elina Svitolina (UKR) vs. Christina McHale (USA)
Doubles: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Lyudmyla Kichenok and Nadiya KichenokÂ (UKR) vs. Liezel Huber and Sloane Stephens (USA)