MOSCOW (AP) — Slovakia stunned favored Russia by taking a 2-0 lead after the opening singles in the Fed Cup semifinals on Saturday.
Dominika Cibulkova rallied to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in the opening singles. Daniela Hantuchova followed with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Maria Kirilenko to put Slovakia one point away from advancing to the final for the first time since winning the title in 2002.
Hantuchova was chosen to play over the higher-ranked Magdalena Rybarikova. She broke Kirilenko twice in the first set and in the seventh game of the second on indoor clay at Krylatskoye Ice Stadium in Moscow.
Hantuchova improved to 35-16 in Fed Cup matches.
The winner will face two-time defending champion Czech Republic or Italy in the final on Nov. 2-3.