Tennis: Czech Republic seal final FedCup semi-final berth

The Czech Republic claimed the remaining Fed Cup semi-final berth after overcoming Spain 3-2 in their rain-delayed World Cup first round tie in Seville on Monday.

Barbora Zahlavova and Andrea Hlavackova clinched the decisive fifth rubber with a 7/6 (9/7), 6-3 doubles win over Carla Suarez Navarro and Silvia Soler-Espinosa.

That sent the Czechs through to a last four clash with the defending champions Italy, 3-1 winners over the United States on Sunday.

The other semi-final sees Germany, who defeated Slovakia 3-1, up against Australia, who routed Russia 4-0, also on Sunday.

Rain in Spain meant only the opening rubber - where Spain's Suarez Navarro had seen off Zahlavova - had been completed, leaving all to play for on Monday.

Klara Zakopalova got Monday's action off to a good start for the visitors with a tense 3-6, 6-2, 1-6 defeat of Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor to even up the tie.

The hosts, who haven't won the FedCup since 1998, took the third rubber - Navarro getting the better of Zakopalova in three sets - before Lucie Saforova defeated Soler-Esponosa 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 to leave the tie going down to the wire to the concludingsealoubles.

The Czechs won the last of their seven FedCup titles in 2012.

The semi-finals of the women's competition are scheduled for the weekend of April 19-20.