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Russia claimed a place in the final of the Federation Cup after Elena Dementieva outlasted Amelie Mauresmo 6-3 0-6 6-4. <br />In the match of the tournament, Dementieva rebounded from a second set whitewash to beat her more experienced opponent in a dramatic third set.

Mauresmo had come back from 3-0 down in the final set to take a 4-3 lead, but two double faults in her final service game opened the door for the Russian.

Russia had taken a 1-0 lead over the French when Nadia Petrova came out on top of another close-fought encounter with Sandrine Testud 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4.

Easy win

They will face either Belgium or Spain for a place in the final after the two Group B pacesetters claimed contrasting victories on Friday.

Belgium lived up to their billing as tournament favourites with a 3-0 win over Australia.

Justine Henin easily defeated Australia's Rachel McQuillan 7-5 6-0 to get Belgium off to a positive start.

Kim Clijsters beat Alicia Molik 6-3 6-3 to keep Belgium on course to top Group B.

And the whitewash was completed in the doubles with Els Callens and Clijsters beating McQuillan and Molik 6-4 6-2.

<br />Five-time Fed Cup champions Spain suffered a shock defeat in their first singles match against Germany.

Martina Muller produced a stunning display to upset Spain's Conchita Martinez 6-1 7-5.

But the Spaniards showed their calibre to come back and clinch victory.

Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario put Spain back on level terms by beating Barbara Rittner 7-5 6-3.

In the decisive doubles match, Sanchez-Vicario and Virginia Ruano Pascual were made to work hard to defeat Bianka Lamade and Mueller 6-3 2-6 6-0.

The Czech Republic edged ahead of Argentina.

Clarisa Fernandez comfortably beat Kveta Hrdlickova 6-4 6-3.

<br />BBC Sport
 

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thanx Susie <img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" /> <img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" />

Josh ..... ahem .... not doing your job badboy.
 
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