Aus storm into Fed Cup semis
Samantha Stosur (AP Photo)
Hobart - Australia stormed into the Fed Cup semi-finals Sunday for the first time in 21 years, with Samantha Stosur clocking a second win in Hobart to secure an unassailable 3-0 lead over Russia.
Stosur, the world number 16 and 2011 US Open champion, saw off 158-ranked teenager Victoria Kan in an hour exactly, with a straight sets 6-2, 6-3 win over the 18-year-old Fed Cup debutante.
"I'm very, very happy. She (Kan) can do a lot of different things, she does everything nicely and when she gets older and a little bit more strong I'm sure that will all come together," said Stosur.
It is Australia's first Fed Cup win over Russia since 1983.
Stosur's victory takes the hosts through to April's semi-finals -- their first since 1993 -- where they will meet either Germany or the Slovak Republic.
The Germans currently hold a 2-0 advantage in their tie in Bratislava.
Australia team captain Alicia Molik was delighted with the result.
"The Fed Cup is always a week to get the best out of each other. The support the players give each other has been fantastic this week and I want the girls to continue like this for the rest of the year," she said.
Australia went into Sunday with a commanding 2-0 lead after Casey Dellacqua downed Irina Khromacheva, the only one of the four Russians who has competed in the world team event before, in straight sets.
Stosur then dispatched unknown 16-year-old Veronika Kudermetova, ranked 650th in the world, 6-4, 6-0.
She had been due to meet Khromacheva on Sunday, but Russia reshuffled its line-up to send top-ranked Kan in against the dominant Australian.
Russia, last year's losing finalists, are without their big names for the clash at the Domain Tennis Centre in Hobart, missing their 13 top players.
Maria Sharapova is currently in Sochi for the Winter Olympics and the new captain, former world number two Anastasia Myskina, opted for four almost unknown players, the highest-ranked of whom was Kan.
Stosur's victory means Dellacqua's reverse singles rubber against Kudermetova will not be played, with the Australian and partner Ashleigh Barty to meet Khromacheva and Valeria Solovyeva in the second doubles match.