Tursunov leads Russia to World Team Cup final against Sweden
DUESSELDORF, Germany -- Dmitry Tursunov won his singles and doubles matches to lead Russia over Germany 3-0 Friday and secure a place in the World Team Cup final against Sweden.
Sweden beat the United States 3-0 in the last of the round-robin matches and will seek a fourth title in its sixth final. Russia has yet to win the title after finishing runner-up three straight years from 2000 to 2002.
Tursunov defeated Nicolas Kiefer 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in the Blue Group match to add to Igor Andreev's win over Philipp Kohlschreiber. In the doubles, Tursunov and Mikhail Youzhny beat Christopher Kas and Philipp Petzschner 7-6 (2), 6-3.
Sweden had already qualified for the final from the Red Group by winning both of Thursday's singles matches. It completed the victory as Robert Lindstedt and Robin Soderling crushed Wayne Odesnik and Bobby Reynolds 6-1, 6-2.
Kiefer converted just one of 13 break points against Tursunov, holding two break points for a 5-3 lead in the first set before netting a backhand to give Tursunov a break for 5-4.
The German held off a break point at 1-1 in the second and then broke for 3-1 on his way to leveling the match at one set each. In the deciding set, Kiefer failed to win any of four break points as Tursunov held for 1-0, then double-faulted on break point at 6-5 to concede the match.
Kiefer said he might consider missing the French Open that begins Sunday.
"My expectations are not very big," Kiefer said. "If I appear like this then I don't even need to fly there."
In other matches, Italy earned a 2-1 win over Spain, as Simone Bolelli defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-3 and then teamed with Potito Starace to beat Lopez and Marcel Granollers 6-4, 7-6 (3). David Ferrer got Spain's only win by beating Starace on Thursday.
Bolelli held two break points before Lopez netted a low forehand volley on the third to concede his serve and the first set 6-4. In the second, the Italian broke for 4-2.
At the World Team Cup, eight teams are split into two groups. In a new format for 2008, each series consists of two singles matches and a doubles match played over two days, ensuring each team competes every day during the round-robin period.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press