London, April 23 (IANS) Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic won their reverse singles matches to take Serbia into the Fed Cup final for the first time, beating Russia 3-2.
Jankovic defeated two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-4 Sunday, to give Serbia an unassailable 3-1 after Ivanovic put Serbia up 2-1, rallying from a set down to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the first reverse singles.
Serbia will face defending champions Czech Republic in the final in November.
"It's a historic moment for us," Jankovic said. "I cannot even believe that we are in the final. We came a long way and I'm very happy we were able to win this match."
The two teams shared opening singles Saturday, Jankovic beating Pavlyuchenkova, but Kuznetsova made it 1-1 beating Ivanovic in the second match.
Then Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Vesnina defeated Serbians Bojana Janovski and Aleksandra Krunic 6-4, 6-0, in the doubles match.
Serbia, who were in the semi-finals for the first time, were expected to beat Russia, four-time champions and winners in all three of their previous three meetings. The Russians,however, were without their two top players Maria Sharapova and Vera Zvonareva.
In Ostrava, Czech Republic, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova took the hosts past Italy. The third-ranked Kvitova beat Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 (1) to give the Czechs an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
Sara Errani defeated Andrea Hlavackova 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the second reverse singles to give Italy their first victory in the rubber. But, Hlavackova teamed up with Lucie Hradecka to make it 4-1 after the final doubles against Errani and Flavia Pennetta, who had to retire at 5-6 because of a wrist injury.
In Saturday's opening singles, Lucie Safarova defeated Schiavone 7-6 (3), 6-1 before Kvitova beat Errani 6-4, 6-3.
World Group, Semi-finals:
At Ostrava: Czech Republic bt Italy 4-1
At Moscow: Serbia beat Russia 3-2.
World Group play-offs (Winners qualify for World Group I in 2013 and losers contest World Group II):
At Tokyo: Japan bt Belgium 4-1.
At Kharkiv: United States beat Ukraine 5-0.
At Marbella: Slovakia beat Spain 3-2.
At Stuttgart: Australia beat Germany 3-2.
World Group II play-offs (Winners qualify for World Group II in 2013 and losers contest Zonal groups):
At Besancon: France beat Slovenia 5-0.
At Yverdon-les-Bains: Switzerland beat Belarus 4-1.
At Boras: Sweden beat Britain 4-1.
At Buenos Aires: Argentina bt China 4-1.