Italy wins Fed Cup for Fourth Time

(November 3, 2013) Italy has won its fourth Fed Cup title after defeating Russia 4-0 in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final in Cagliari, Sardinia on 2-3 November.

This is Italy’s fourth title in eight years, following previous victories in 2006, 2009, and 2010. Corrado Barazzutti, who has captained Italy to all four victories, was presented with the Fed Cup Award of Excellence on Saturday by the ITF and International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 97 nations entered in 2013. The event is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2013 in the ITF’s centenary year. WORLD GROUP FINAL

ITALY defeated RUSSIA 4-0

Venue: Tennis Club Cagliari, Cagliari, Sardinia, ITA (clay – outdoors)

Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Alexandra Panova (RUS) 57 75 86 (saved 4 mp)

Sara Errani (ITA) d. Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 61 64

Sara Errani (ITA) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 61 61

Roberta Vinci (ITA) v. Irina Khromacheva (RUS) not played

Karin Knapp/Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Margarita Gasparyan/Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 46 62 [10-4]


Italy Takes 2-0 Lead over Russia in Fed Cup Final



(November 2, 2013) Roberta Vinci rallied from 4 match points down and Sara Errani won easily to give Italy a 2-0 lead over Russia going into Day 2 of the Fed Cup final.

Russia is without its top tier players, some are out with injuries while others chose to play the WTA Tournament of Champions in Bulgaria.

Vinci defeated Alexandra Panova coming from 5-7, 2-5 down to win 5-7, 7-5, 8-6 in 3 hours, 13 minutes.

Errani beat Fed Cup rookie Irina Khromacheva 6-1, 6-4.

Italy is a win away from claiming it’s fourth Fed Cup title.


ITALY leads RUSSIA 2-0

Venue: Tennis Club Cagliari, Cagliari, Sardinia, ITA (clay – outdoors)

Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Alexandra Panova (RUS) 57 75 86 (saved 4 mp)

Sara Errani (ITA) d. Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 61 64

Sara Errani (ITA) v Alexandra Panova (RUS)

Roberta Vinci (ITA) v Irina Khromacheva (RUS)

Flavia Pennetta/Karin Knapp (ITA) v Alisa Kleybanova/Margarita Gasparyan (RUS)


Sara Errani wins Fed Cup Heart Award


(November 1, 2013) The ITF today announced that Italy’s Sara Errani has won the final Fed Cup Heart Award of 2013 in recognition of her performance during Italy’s semifinal victory against Czech Republic in Palermo in April.


Errani has been an integral part of the Italian Fed Cup team since making her debut for her country in 2008. This year she has given Italy a winning start in their victories over USA and Czech Republic, and also partnered Roberta Vinci to a deciding doubles victory over the Americans in the first round in February. The Italian will contest her 14th Fed Cup tie this weekend, and boasts a 16-8 overall Fed Cup win-loss record.


Errani was presented with a cheque for US$10,000, which will be donated to her chosen charity, Care and Share, to benefit children in a village in India called Vijayawada. The presentation was made by ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti after the draw ceremony for the 2013 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final at the Palazzo dell’Unione Sarda in Cagliari.


Errani said: “I’m very happy to receive this prestigious recognition from the ITF. It is a prize that I have wanted because it recognises the courage and dedication to your national team. For me and my teammates, it has always been very important to defend our colours, and we feel part of a winning project.”


Errani was shortlisted for the award alongside Roberta Vinci (ITA), Maria Kirilenko (RUS) and Ekaterina Makarova (RUS). All four players competed in the World Group semifinals in April and helped their nation reach the Final, which is taking place at the Tennis Club Cagliari in Cagliari, Sardinia on 2-3 November.


The players were shortlisted by the Heart Award judging panel, consisting of ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and a mixture of former players and members of the international media. A public vote, which ran on 7-28 October, was held on FedCup.com and FedCup.com/es to decide the winner.


A total of five Heart Awards have been presented in 2013. Errani follows in the footsteps of Daniela Hantuchova (SVK), Paula Cristina Goncalves (BRA), Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) and Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), who were honoured earlier this year.


ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sara for her outstanding performances for her country for many years. She has played a key role in her team’s success, helping Italy win the title in 2009 and 2010. I am sure that she will once again show her fighting qualities this weekend.”


The Fed Cup Heart Award is an ITF initiative that was first presented to USA’s Melanie Oudin at the 2009 Fed Cup Final. It aims to recognise players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team.


The judging panel was composed of Francesco Ricci Bitti (ITA), ITF President, Sabine Appelmans (BEL), former Fed Cup player/captain, Mercedes Paz (ARG), former Fed Cup player, Craig Gabriel (AUS), international journalist, Sandra Harwitt (USA), international journalist, Corinne Dubreuil (FRA), international photographer and Ray Giubilo (ITA), international photographer



2013 Fed Cup Final Draw Announced


(November 1, 2013) The ITF has announced the draw for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final between Italy and Russia in Cagliari, Sardinia November 2-3.



Venue: Tennis Club Cagliari, Cagliari, Sardinia, ITA (clay – outdoors)

Roberta Vinci (ITA) v Alexandra Panova (RUS)

Sara Errani (ITA) v Irina Khromacheva (RUS)

Sara Errani (ITA) v Alexandra Panova (RUS)

Roberta Vinci (ITA) v Irina Khromacheva (RUS)

Flavia Pennetta/Karin Knapp (ITA) v Alisa Kleybanova/Margarita Gasparyan (RUS)


Fed Cup Final to be Moved Back a Week in 2014


(October 31, 2013) The International Tennis Federation has revised the dates for next year’s Fed Cup final. It will be moved to a week later to November 8-9, 2014.


The decision made by the Fed Cup Committee was ratified by the ITF board of directors.


In 2014 there will be an extra week between the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris and the ATP World Tour Finals in London, and the Fed Cup Final will now be held in this week. The event will no longer conflict with the WTA Tournament of Champions, which the WTA continues to schedule in the same week in its published 2014 calendar.


ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “Fed Cup is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, and has enjoyed an illustrious history. By changing the date we believe we have shown flexibility and concern for the players in helping them to continue to represent their country in this prestigious competition.”


Italy takes on Russia this weekend in the 2013 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final at the Tennis Club Cagliari in Cagliari, Sardinia November 2-3.



Italy and Russia Teams Named for Fed Cup Final


(October 23, 2013) The ITF has announced the official team nominations for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final between Italy and Russia in Cagliari, Sardinia on November 2-3.





Venue: Tennis Club Cagliari, Cagliari, Sardinia, ITA (clay – outdoors)



Sara Errani

Roberta Vinci

Flavia Pennetta

Karin Knapp

Captain: Corrado Barazzutti



Alexandra Panova

Alisa Kleybanova

Irina Khromacheva

Margarita Gasparyan

Captain: Shamil Tarpischev


Internazionali BNL d’Italia – Rome – Sunday Results, Monday Schedule


Rome, Italy
May 13-19, 2013
Red Clay/Outdoors

Results – May 12, 2013

Men’s Singles – First Round
[9] R Gasquet (FRA) d S Querrey (USA) 62 76(8)
A Dolgopolov (UKR) d [WC] M Viola (ITA) 64 63
K Anderson (RSA) d J Melzer (AUT) 61 62
D Istomin (UZB) d J Isner (USA) 57 76(5) 63
M Granollers (ESP) d N Davydenko (RUS) 63 64
G Dimitrov (BUL) d M Baghdatis (CYP) 63 64

Order Of Play – Monday, May 13, 2013

CENTRALE start 12:00 noon
R Stepanek (CZE) vs [WC] P Starace (ITA) – ATP
V Williams (USA) vs L Robson (GBR) – WTA
F Fognini (ITA) vs A Seppi (ITA) – ATP

Not Before 7:30 PM
F Schiavone (ITA) vs K Bertens (NED) – WTA

Not Before 9:00 PM
[16] K Nishikori (JPN) vs [WC] P Lorenzi (ITA) – ATP

SUPERTENNIS ARENA start 11:00 am
J Monaco (ARG) vs B Paire (FRA) – ATP
[11] M Cilic (CRO) vs [Q] A Golubev (KAZ) – ATP
S Hsieh (TPE) vs [9] S Stosur (AUS) – WTA
J Jankovic (SRB) vs T Pironkova (BUL) – WTA

Not Before 7:00 PM
P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [14] M Raonic (CAN) – ATP

PIETRANGELI start 11:00 am
S Lisicki (GER) vs [Q] M Burdette (USA) – WTA
[WC] N Burnett (ITA) vs A Cornet (FRA) – WTA
J Nieminen (FIN) vs [Q] E Gulbis (LAT) – ATP
[Q] S Giraldo (COL) vs J Janowicz (POL) – ATP

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
M Niculescu (ROU) vs S Peng (CHN) – WTA
E Makarova (RUS) vs [Q] M Oudin (USA) – WTA
[Q] A Montanes (ESP) vs M Klizan (SVK) – ATP
S Kuznetsova (RUS) vs [Q] S Halep (ROU) – WTA

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
S Cirstea (ROU) vs A Morita (JPN) – WTA
[Q] A Kuznetsov (RUS) vs X Malisse (BEL) – ATP
[Q] G Muguruza (ESP) vs [Q] M Johansson (FRA) – WTA
K Marosi (HUN) / A Tatishvili (GEO) vs [WC] N Burnett (ITA) / C Mchale (USA) – WTA – After suitable rest

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
A Ramos (ESP) vs [Q] J Hajek (CZE) – ATP
A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) vs [5] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) – WTA
J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) vs D Inglot (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) – ATP
A Hlavackova (CZE) / P Martic (CRO) vs E Birnerova (CZE) / I Buryachok (UKR) – WTA

COURT 6 start 11:00 am
M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) vs J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) – ATP
G Dimitrov (BUL) / F Nielsen (DEN) vs S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) – ATP
[8] S Zhang (CHN) / J Zheng (CHN) vs D Cibulkova (SVK) / M Niculescu (ROU) – WTA – After suitable rest
O Govortsova (BLR) / M Moulton-Levy (USA) vs H Chan (TPE) / D Jurak (CRO) – WTA



Italy to Stage 2013 ITF Beach Tennis World Championships


(February 21, 2013) The ITF announced that the ITF Beach Tennis World Championships will return to Italy when the Italian Tennis Federation (FIT) hosts the 2013 Championships in the Adriatic resort of Cervia in Ravenna from Wednesday 31 July until Sunday 4 August.


The flagship event on the ITF Beach Tennis Tour will see the best men’s and women’s doubles pairs from around the world bidding to be crowned 2013 ITF Beach Tennis World Champions.


This is the fifth edition of the Championships that were first hosted by the FIT at the Foro Italico in Rome in 2009-11, before moving to Burgas, Bulgaria in 2012. Italian players have dominated the first four events, with Marco Garavini and Paolo Tazzari winning the 2012 men’s title, and Simona Briganti and Laura Olivieri successfully defending their women’s title.


The Italians will face increased competition as they bid to hold on to their titles this year, with more nations taking up the sport each year. Competitors from 15 countries took part in the 2012 Championships, while over 40 nations are currently represented in the ITF Beach Tennis Rankings.


The Ravenna province in Italy has long been considered the heart of beach tennis, and Cervia has hosted one of the most successful Grade 1 events on the ITF Beach Tennis Tour since 2010. The 2013 Championships will be staged at Bagno Delfino on the Cervia coast with 20 match courts in use.


The ITF Beach Tennis Tour was launched in 2008, and continues to grow each year, with 152 events staged in 32 countries in 2012.


ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “We are delighted to see the continued growth of the Beach Tennis Tour. The ITF Beach Tennis World Championships remain a focal point of the beach tennis calendar, and it is fitting that this year’s event is staged in such an active region for the sport. The Italian Tennis Federation are experienced hosts of these world championships, and we are confident that the event can go from strength to strength.”


Italy Rallies Past US to Move into Fed Cup Semis


Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci

(February 10, 2013) Italy came back from 1-2 down to defeat the United States in Fed Cup 3-2 on Sunday in the first round of the World Group in Rimini, Italy.


World No. 1 doubles team Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci sealed the win for Italy in the fifth rubber with a victory over Varvara Lepchenko and Liezel Huber 6-2, 6-2.


“Errani and Vinci are the weapon,” said Huber. They are like sisters. They are like best friends. They can almost see each other’s body language and predict something before it has happened. They have a different style than what we are used to and stick to their style. They are great singles players and don’t discount doubles. I enjoy watching them play, just not against me!”


The United States led 2-1 after Lepchenko beat world No, 7 Errani 7-5, 6-2 in the first of reverse singles on Sunday.


“In the first set, I had to get my body started,“ said Lepchenko. “I had a long match yesterday, so I was a bit up and down in the beginning. Once my body warmed up, I was playing better and better in the second set and got pumped and got going.”


Vinci rallied for Italy topping Jamie Hampton 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 to send the tie into a fifth rubber.

“I had a tough match yesterday, so I had to regroup and do my best for the team,” Hampton. ”First set, I made a lot of errors and started off like yesterday. I got back together in the second set and thought I had a hold of the match, but I made a lot of errors.”



Italy will next host defending champion Czech Republic in the Fed Cup semifinals, a rematch of last year’s semifinal. The other semifinal has Slovakia at Russia.


Next the United States will play in the World Group Playoff, April 20-21, to remain in contention for the Fed Cup World Group l in 2014 and to try and stave off relegation to World Group II next year. The United States’ opponent will be drawn on Wednesday, February 13, at 10 a.m. GMT at the ITF offices in London.


The U.S., who will be seeded will play one of the four winners of the World Group II First Round (Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, or Germany). The host site for Switzerland or Sweden will be determined by a coin toss on Wednesday. The U.S. would host Spain or Germany.


Fed Cup Rookie Lepchenko Keeps Team USA’s Hopes Alive in Fed Cup



(February 9, 2013) United States Fed Cup rookie world No. No. 21 Varvara Lepchenko kept US hopes alive against Italy by defeating.  No. 16 Roberta Vinci  2-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the second singles rubber on Saturday to even the first round tie at 1-1. The match, which lasted for two hours and 17 minutes marked the first time the two women had ever faced off against each other.

Italy’s Sara Errani ranked No. 7 defeated Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-1 in the first rubber.

“Even though this was my first Fed Cup match, I wasn’t that nervous because I had the experience in the Olympics,” said Lepchenko. “I was very nervous there, so I didn’t want to let my emotions get to me here in Fed Cup. I thought of this as a first match in a tournament and I just needed to get into it. In the second set, I was in it.”


“I was really proud of the way Varvara approached the match and how disciplined she was,” said US Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez. “Even when she was down, she competed really well. In Fed Cup, things get complicated and there is always tension. It probably wasn’t easy for her playing for the first time in Fed Cup without a home crowd, but she did a great job blocking it out. She kept fighting and kept believing. Varvara has a great game and can play anyone. She can make anyone feel uncomfortable and she did that today. She played her heart out.”



“It has been amazing to be a part of a team this week,” Lepchenko added.” I have so much support from all of them. I feel like I can’t let them down. I played more for them today than for myself.”


Lepchenko led 5-1 in the third set, but the momentum shifted, and the third set was even at 5-5. Lepchenko then broke Vinci and held serve to win the final set, 7-5 on her third try serving for the match. This was Lepchenko’s best career win since beating then-world No. 13 Dominika Cibulkova in the second round of the WTA event in Montreal last year. This was also her best win on clay since upsetting then-world No. 12 Francesca Schiavone en route to the fourth round of the 2012 French Open.



“I am really proud of the way I handled myself today,” Lepchenko said. “I have had many people cheering against me in many tournaments throughout the year, so this time, I was happy to see my team cheering for me. They really helped me.”


The US is 1-1 against Italy going into day 2 play on Sunday. Since the Fed Cup World Group format was instituted in 1995, the U.S. is 8-4 when tied 1-1 with the opposing country. The U.S. is 8-10 when playing on the road and 4-13 when losing the first singles rubber.

Sunday’s schedule – in the first singles match of the day, Varvara Lepchenko and Sara Errani, the No. 1 players from each team, will square off in the third singles rubber followed by Jamie Hampton versus Roberta Vinci. The doubles rubber will close the tie it will feature Melanie Oudin and Liezel Huber for the US against Karin Knapp and Fed Cup rookie Nastassja Burnett for Italy.


“We are still in this tie and it is fantastic,“ said Fernandez. “I told the girls that the goal was to win any three matches any which way. We have one, so we are looking for two tomorrow. Varvara will play Sara, who won today, so that will be very tough. Sara has great clay-court variety and is a strong Top 10 player. Jamie will go out there against Vinci and give it her all. I’m excited.”


Tennis Channel will provide television coverage of the second day of play beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.