US, Belgium in Fed Cup quarters

United States and Belgium cruise into the Fed Cup quarterfinals.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Brussels:The world's top three female players did the job on Sunday as the United States and Belgium cruised into the Fed Cup quarterfinals. Serena and Venus Williams, ranked first and third in the world respectively, gave the United States a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic, while No. 2 Kim Clijsters helped Belgium to a 5-0 sweep of Austria. In the July 19-20 quarterfinals, the United States will take on Italy, a 3-2 winner over Sweden, while Belgium will face defending champion Slovakia, which recovered from a slow start to beat Germany 3-2. In other matches France crushed Colombia 5-0, Russia breezed past Croatia 4-1, Italy edged Sweden 3-2, Spain beat Australia 3-2 and the United States was 2-0 up against the Czech Republic ahead of the reverse singles. On Saturday, Slovenia beat Argentina 3-2. At Lowell, Massachusetts, Serena Williams beat Klara Koukalova 6-2, 6-2 for a third straight victory by the Williams sisters over the Czech Republic. The United States took a 2-0 lead into Sunday's play, and Serena Williams needed just 50 minutes to defeat the inexperienced Koukalova. Venus Williams defeated Iveta Benesova 6-3, 6-2 in the last singles match, and the sisters completed the 5-0 weekend sweep with a 6-0, 6-1 doubles victory in 44 minutes, beating Daja Bedanova and Eva Birnerova. Belgium also posted an easy victory after Clijsters, playing in front of a partisan crowd of 4,500 in her hometown of Bree, trounced 76th-ranked Patricia Wartusch 6-2, 6-2 to give Belgium the decisive point in the best-of-five tie. Justine Henin-Hardenne, fourth in the world rankings, withdrew from the other singles match of the day because of a bad back but replacement Els Callens still beat Evelyn Fauth 7-6 (0), 6-2. Clijsters than teamed up with Callens to beat Sybille Bammer and Yvonne Meusburger 6-2, 6-2 in the doubles. Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne led Belgium to the Fed Cup title two years ago. (AP)

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