BEIJING -- Spain booked its place in
the Fed Cup final on Sunday after beating China 4-1 in their
semifinal tie at the Beijing International Tennis Centre.
The European team made sure of advancing when Nuria Llagostera Vives overcame Shuai Peng 6-4, 6-4 in the day's first
reverse singles to give it an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the
five-rubber tie after they won both of Saturday's matches.
"We knew we could win the tie but we've never expected to
win three matches in a row," Vives told a news conference.
Peng said she had a few chances in the second set but that
Vives had played better, producing a wider variety of shots and
moving around the court faster.
"I felt really sorry. I really didn't want to lose," the
world No. 68 said.
World No. 76 Vives had a controversial line call ruled in
her favor in the final game to give her match point and she then
forced Peng to return long to seal the victory.
"I decided to run a lot and to make her run a lot in order
to control the match at my favorite rhythm and used my forehand
to put pressure on her," Vives said.
Carla Suarez-Navarro defeated Peng and Vives beat Jie Zheng
in Saturday's matches.
China salvaged some pride when two-time Grand Slam doubles
champion Zheng, who had come back recently from ankle surgery,
overcame Suarez-Navarro 7-6, 6-3 in a reverse singles
Spain underlined its dominance
when Vives and Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez eased to a 6-2, 6-1
victory over Peng and Sun Tiantian in the doubles.
Spain will play defending champion Russia in September's final after
the Russians crushed the United States in Moscow and Spain
captain Miguel Margets Lobato was confident about his team's
"We have beaten Italy and today China. I believe we are also
strong enough to win the final championship," he said.