France, Italy first pair of Fed Cup semis

Italy, the defending champion, will meet France in the 2007 Fed Cup semifinals scheduled for July.

Italy booked their place in the final four by defeating China 5-0. World No. 23 Tathiana Garbin defeated China's Shuai Zhang 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. Mara Santangelo overwhelmed Tian-Tian Sun 6-4, 6-2. In doubles, Mara Santangelo together with Roberta Vinci beat Tian-Tian Sun and Sheng-Nan Sun 6-2, 6-4.

France reached the semis by defeating Japan 5-0. Tatiana Golovin lived up to the expectations and ensured victory for her country by first beating Akiko Morigami 6-2, 6-4, and then Ai Sugiyama 7-6(3), 6-0.

Italy will host France in the semis, which gives a clear advantage to the team of defending champions. However, Italy doesn't have so promising head-to-heads against France; they lost six times and won only once. Still, their one win was last year when they defeated France 4-1 in the first round in Nancy. Later on, they beat Belgium and became the Fed Cup champions for the first time.

The third member of the Fed Cup final four is Russia, who will meet either USA or Belgium. (source: Fed Cup)

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