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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Defeats U.S. to Reach Fed Final

APDoubles partners Nadia Petrova, right, and Elena Vesnina hugging after beating Venus Williams and Vania King in the Fed Cup semifinal Sunday in Vermont.
BOSTON -- Nadia Petrova and Elena Vesnina beat Wimbledon champion Venus Williams and Lisa Raymond in the decisive doubles contest to give Russia a 3-2 win over the United States in their Fed Cup semifinal Sunday in Stowe, Vermont.

Petrova, returning to the court after saving Russia from elimination in Sunday's second singles match, and Vesnina registered a 7-5, 7-6 victory, claiming the second-set tiebreaker 7-1 to lift Russia into the final.

Winning two critical matches Sunday was especially sweet for Petrova, 25, who felt she'd squandered chances in a three-set singles loss to Williams on Saturday.

"I was very disappointed after losing to Venus when I had everything in my hands and then broke down," Petrova said. "I couldn't handle the nerves and the pressure.

"So, I thought, OK, I'll let it go. So today I got to do everything. ... It just feels great. It feels fantastic."

Williams was also playing her second match of the day after beating Anna Chakvetadze 6-1, 6-4 in Sunday's opening singles match.

"I definitely felt good going out there," said Williams, 27. "It was just a couple points here and there."

The triumph put Russia into the final against defending champion Italy, who also needed a doubles victory Sunday to defeat visiting France in their semifinal.

Also stepping up for Russia was Vesnina, 20, who hit three winners and an ace in the tiebreaker.

"It's one of the best moments in my life. I was so nervous before the match," said Vesnina, who credited Petrova with giving her confidence.

"This match was just unbelievable, just incredible."

Entering Sunday's action tied at 1-1, Williams gave the U.S. team a 2-1 lead by beating Chakvetadze.

After 41st-ranked Meilen Tu lost to Petrova 6-1, 6-2 to level the tie at 2-2, U.S. captain Zina Garrison called on Williams to replace Vania King as Raymond's doubles partner.

Tu made her Fed Cup debut in place of King, who was beaten Saturday by Chakvetadze in the first singles match.

Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev was confident about hosting Italy in the Fed Cup final on Sept. 15 and 16.

"This match will take place in Moscow," Tarpishchev said. "I think we have a better chance against Italy than we had against the U.S."