Monday, February 6, 2012

U.S. romps in Fed Cup after Azarenka withdraws

   The Fed Cup series between the United States and Belarus over the weekend was supposed to feature the last two singles champions of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford.
   But top-ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus withdrew with a back injury. She won the singles title in the 2010 Bank of the West, last year's doubles crown at Stanford with Maria Kirilenko and the recent Australian Open for her first Grand Slam singles championship.
   Without Azarenka, Belarus fell to the U.S. 5-0 in Worcester, Mass., in the first round of World Goup II. Serena Williams, the reigning Bank of the West champion and a former world No. 1, and Christina McHale each won two singles matches. Liezel Huber, ranked No. 1 in the world in doubles, teamed with Venus Williams, who returned to action after missing five months because of an autoimmune disease, for the Americans' other point.
   In 2009, Venus Williams reached the Bank of the West singles final, losing to Marion Bartoli, and won the doubles title with Serena. Huber, a U.S. citizen from South Africa, took the doubles crown at Stanford in 2008 with Cara Black and in 2010 with Lindsay Davenport.
   The United States can return to the elite World Group in 2013 with a victory in April over an opponent to be determined by a draw on Feb. 14. The opponent will be either another World Group II winner or a World Group loser.
    USTA Pro Circuit -- In a matchup of unseeded Americans, 5-foot-11 Julia Boserup routed 5-2 Lauren Davis 6-0, 6-3 to win the $25,000 Del Mar Financial Partners Inc. Open in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe.
   The encounter between Boserup, 20, of nearby Newport Beach and Davis, 18, of Boca Raton, Fla., was a rematch of their quarterfinal in the Oak River Rehab Challenger in Redding last September. Boserup prevailed 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 en route to the title.

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