Fed Cup tennis: Canada beats Ukraine to advance

Monday, April 22, 2013

KYIV, UKRAINESharon Fichman and Eugenie Bouchard’s 6-4, 6-3 victory over Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko and Elina Svitolina clinched a 3-2 victory for Canada on Sunday at the Fed Cup World Group II playoff tie.

Canada is one of eight teams to qualify for World Group II in 2014, reaching that level for the first time since 2011.

The best-of-five series came down to the final doubles match after Bouchard opened the day with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Tsurenko, followed by Fichman’s 6-4, 7-6 (4) loss to Svitolina on an indoor clay court at the Sport Club Meridian.

“I wasn’t worried about losing my singles match because I knew I could get another chance in doubles,” said Fichman. “As a player, all you can ask for is an opportunity and we made the most of it.”

The 19-year-old Bouchard took control early in her match, jumping out to a 5-2 lead in the opening set. After falling behind 5-3 in the second, the Westmount, Que., native reeled off four straight games for the straight-sets victory.

“It was important to stay in the points because (Tsurenko) can hit some amazing winners, but she can be erratic sometimes so you have to be ready for that,” said Bouchard. “I am happy that I was able to stay with her mentally and be aggressive when I had the chance.”

It was Bouchard’s fifth win in six matches in Fed Cup play.

The roles were reversed on Saturday when Bouchard lost the opener to Svitolina before Toronto’s Fichman levelled the series with a win over Tsurenko.

The Canadians advanced to the playoff in February after winning all four ties at the Americas Zone Group I event in Medellin, Colombia.

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