• Fed Cup

Italy and Russia vie for Fed Cup

ESPN staff
November 1, 2013 « Gold for GB in men's and women's team pursuit | Chartbeat test »
Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani are the No.1-ranked doubles team in the world, but will not be used as a pairing in the Fed Cup final © Getty Images
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Roberta Vinci will take on Alexandra Panova while Sara Errani goes up against 18-year-old Irina Khromacheva on Saturday as the Fed Cup final gets underway between Italy and Russia.

In the last 10 years Russia have won the tournament four times, though their line-up is depleted this time around with several top players competing in the season-ending Tournament of Champions in Bulgaria.

Russia's highest-ranked player, the world No. 183 Alisa Kleybanova, is 95 places beneath Italy's fourth-lowest ranked player, Karin Knapp.

"I don't know her [Khromacheva] very much. I'll see maybe on the internet how she plays," Errani said. "She's very young but she's a good player. So it won't be easy for sure, but we are ready to go on court and give everything."

Italy are favourites to win their fourth Fed Cup title in their fifth final in eight years.

Khromacheva, Panova and Margarita Gasparyan are yet to play for their country.

Sunday's reverse singles will see Errani face Panova and Vinci taking on Khromacheva.

Despite Vinci and Errani being the world No. 1-ranked doubles team, Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti has chosen Flavia Pennetta and Knapp to go up against Kleybanova and Gasparyan.

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