Serena Williams finds form in Fed Cup
Mon, 23 Apr 2012 2:48a.m.
Serena Williamger Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-1 to give the United States a 2-0 lead in its best-of-five Fed Cup series.
The U.S. needs one victory from Sunday's three matches to return to the top tier of the Fed Cup after Christina McHale earlier won a hard-fought match against Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
Williams is making her first Fed Cup appearance on foreign soil for more than a decade in order to gain eligibility for the U.S. team at the London Olympics.
The 13-time Grand Slam champion could seal a return to the World Group of the Fed Cup for the U.S. on Sunday if she wins her singles match against Tsurenko.
Williams only faltered once against the 17-year-old Svitolina, who managed to peg back the American to 2-2 in the first set after going down an early break.
"It's easier in the Fed Cup as you have a coach who can help and encourage to stay focused," Williams said.
Williams won four straight games and sealed the first set with an ace.
There was then a short delay while Williams had her ankle strapped - as a precaution, she said later.
The 30-year-old Williams continued to pound Svitolina's weak serve in the second set and closed out the match in exactly an hour.
In the day's first match, McHale survived a comeback from Tsurenko to give the U.S. the lead.
McHale, 19, lost the first game but then won six straight to take the first set.
Tsurenko fought back in the second set. The players exchanged breaks before Tsurenko, 22, took a marathon final game, converting a sixth break point to win the set.
But McHale raced into a 3-0 lead in the final set before holding comfortably to win 6-3.
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