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Tennis: Kirilenko keeps Russia's FedCup hopes alive

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Maria Kirilenko kept Russia's hopes alive in their FedCup semi-final with Slovakia on Sunday as she beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-1.

Kirilenko, who is ranked 13th in the world, made light work of an opponent she has now beaten in three of their four meetings as she triumphed in one hour 41 minutes.

"After yesterday's failure I managed to find my tennis today and it was the key to success in the match," Kirilenko said.

"I played clinically trying to follow the plan which we worked out together with my coaches and it paid off as I won today."

The opponents traded breaks throughout the opening set but the 26-year-old Muscovite prevailed eventually in 1hr 4min.

Despite 23-year-old Cibulkova breaking in the first game of the second set it proved a false dawn as Kirilenko won the next six games to claim victory in the rubber.

The clash between Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and the doubles follow.

On Saturday Slovakia clinched a commanding 2-0 advantage after Cibulkova had battled back from a set down to beat Pavlyuchenkova 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, while Hantuchova recorded Slovakia's second win beating Kirilenko 6-2, 6-4.

The winner will face either Italy or the reigning champions Czech Republic in the Fed Cup final in November. Italy lead the Czechs 2-0 after the opening day of their tie.

af/pi

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130421/tennis-kirilenko-keeps-russias-fedcup-hopes-alive