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Russia and U.S. enter quarterfinals

MOSCOW, APRIL 25. Russia advanced to the quarterfinals of the Fed Cup after gaining a 4-1 lead over Australia on Sunday in their best-of-five first round World Group tie. Vera Zvonareva made quick work of Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-3 in the second reverse singles to secure Russia's victory after Alicia Molik beat Anastasia Myskina 6-3, 6-3 in early action to give Australia its first point in the tie. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Likhovtseva defeated Alicia Molik and Rennae Stubbs 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(7) in the doubles.

On Saturday, Myskina and Svetlana Kuznetsova won their singles to put Russia ahead. Zvonareva, World No. 11, opened strongly, winning four consecutive games in the first set and closing it in 25 minutes.

At Portoroz, Lisa Raymond came from behind to beat Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 and give the United States a place in the quarterfinals.

With only the doubles remaining in the best-of-five weekend series, the Americans held an unassailable 3-1 lead over Slovenia.

Earlier, Venus Williams recovered from a slow start to beat Tina Pisnik 6-3, 6-1 and put the Americans on track to earn a quarterfinal berth and a spot in the World Group next year.

In the July 10-11 quarterfinals, the United States will play Austria, which beat Slovakia.

France in last eight

At Paris, Amelie Mauresmo today took holder France into the quarterfinals with an easy 6-2, 6-3 victory over Anna Lena Groenefeld to give her team an unassailable 3-0 lead over Germany.

Austria advances

At St. Poelten, Barbara Schett defeated Slovakia's Martina Sucha 7-5, 1-6, 6-2 to secure Austria a place in the quarterfinals.

The Austrian turned a 1-4 deficit into a 7-5 win in the first set, but Sucha fought back, found her rhythm and eased through the second set in less than half an hour. In the final set, the Austrian, a former top 10 player, took control and clearly dominated Sucha.

The results: World Group (first round):

At Moscow: Russia 4, Australia 1 (Alicia Molik bt Anastasia Myskina 6-3, 6-3; Vera Zvonareva bt Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-3; Svetlana Kuznetsova/Elena Likhovtseva bt Alicia Molik/Rennae Stubbs 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(7).

At Buenos Aires: Argentina 2, Japan 0 (Gisela Dulko bt Ai Sugiyama 6-3, 6-4; Paola Suarez bt Aikiko Morigami 6-4, 6-0).

At St. Poelten: Austria 3, Slovakia 0 (Barbara Schett bt Martina Sucha 7-5, 1-6, 6-2; Barbara Schwartz bt Ludmila Cervanova 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-2).

At Bree: Belgium 2, Croatia 1 (Kim Clijsters bt Karolina Sprem 6-1, 6-3; Karolina Sprem bt Kirsten Flipkens 6-2, 6-0).

At Amiens: France 2, Germany 0 (Nathalie Dechy bt Anna Lena Groenefeld 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-4; Amelie Mauresmo bt Barabar Rittner 6-1, 6-2).

At Maglie: Italy 2, Czech Republic 0 (Silvia Farina Elia bt Klara Koukalova 6-3, 7-6(6).

At Portoroz: Slovenia 1, United States 3 (Venus Williams bt Tina Pisnik 6-3, 6-1; Lisa Raymond bt Katarina Srebotnik 5-7, 6-3, 6-4).

At Murcia: Spain 2, Switzerland 1 (Conchita Martinez bt Emmanuelle Gagliardi 2-6, 6-1, 6-0; Conchita Martinez bt Patty Schnyder 6-3, 6-4).

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