In the quarter-finals of the Fed Cup after bouncing back from 1-2 down Russia beat Japan 3-2 . Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina won the final doubles rubber, beating the Japanese duo of Misaki Doi and Ayumi Morita 6-2, 6-2. He think they played very confidently as a pair. He was very happy, a lot of emotions about the doubles because we really played as a pair. Russia faces Slovakia in April’s semi finals after the Slovakians took an unassailable 3-1 lead over Serbia Sunday. Four time champions Russia have lost a World Group first round match only once since returning to the Fed Cup’s top tier in 1997, the only blot a 2006 loss to the Belgium team of Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters.
In the final doubles rubber, the turning point in the first set came when Makarova and Vesnina broke the Japanese serve at 2-2 before going on to win the next four games and take the set. Sunday’s first match saw 33rd ranked Vesnina step in for the ill Kirilenko and lose 4-6, 1-6 to the in-form Morita, Japan’s No.1 at 57th in the world. Twentieth ranked Makarova then took the match to the decisive doubles rubber with a 6-1, 6-1 demolition of the injury hit Date-Krumm. During the last two years, Ayumi and Kimiko have played singles.
In the doubles, Makarova replaced youngster Margarita Gasparyan, ranked 226th, who was originally slated to play the rubber. The Russians were broken in the first game but recovered immediately to level the score, helped by poor Japanese serving as Doi and Morita landed just 52 percent of their first serves. In the second set, Makarova and Vesnina showed the coordination born of regular doubles play together as they charged into a 4-1 lead before closing out the match. He think they need more time to play together in this team and they will in the future. Japan and Russia have never previously met in Fed Cup.