Lepchenko lifts US into tie vs. Italy

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 08, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23: Varvara Lepchenko of USA in action during her second round match against Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine on Day Three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 23, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
American Varvara Lepchenko won on her Fed Cup debut to put the United States level at 1-1 against Italy on Saturday, after Sara Errani had beaten Jamie Hampton. The 21st-ranked Lepchenko beat 16th-ranked Vinci 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 with the Italian appearing to struggle with cramp in a dramatic final set which had seven breaks of serve. Vinci twice had treatment on court as she fought back from 5-1 down in the third to go 5-5. Lepchenko immediately broke back and served the match out. Seventh-ranked Errani took just over an hour to win 6-2, 6-1 over Hampton, ranked 57 places below her Italian opponent. Italy beat the U.S. in back-to-back Fed Cup finals in 2009 and `10.
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