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TENNIS

U.S., Russia tied in Fed Cup match

July 15, 2007|From the Associated Press

STOWE, VT. — One week after winning her fourth Wimbledon title, Venus Williams returned home to win another big match for herself, her sister Serena and her country.

But it wasn't easy.

Williams overcame a terrible second set to beat Nadia Petrova, 7-6 (6), 0-6, 6-4, on Saturday to tie the Fed Cup semifinal match between the United States and Russia at 1-1.

Earlier Saturday, Anna Chakvetadze gave Russia a lead by dominating Vania King, 6-1, 6-3.

Williams will play Chakvetadze in the reverse singles today, and U.S. captain Zina Garrison said she was leaning toward sending Meilen Tu against Petrova. If necessary, a deciding doubles match would follow.

The winner meets the winner of the other semifinal between Italy and France for the championship in September.

The win "takes a lot of pressure off my teammates," Williams said. With no other player on the team ranked higher than the No. 43 Tu, Williams, ranked 17th, was being counted on to win two matches.

She said her sister wanted to play but had to pull out because of an injury.

"I told her, 'You're not playing,' so I'm playing for me, for her and for the U.S," Venus Williams said.

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