Fed Cup: Spain takes lead

MASPALOMAS (Canary Islands) OCT. 31. Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario teamed up on Wednesday to give Spain a 2-0 lead over Austria in their Fed Cup semifinal tie, while the tournament's top rated-player, Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, was upset by Francesca Schiavone of Italy 7-6 (1), 6-1.

Janette Husarova beat Silvia Farina Elia 6-4, 6-3 in the second singles match to salvage the day for Slovakia, which is tied with Italy 1-1.

Martinez defeated Patricia Wartusch 6-0, 7-5, while Sanchez-Vicario downed Barbara Schett 6-3, 7-6 (5), getting their side off to a strong start in its quest for a sixth Fed Cup title.

Martinez, the 1994 Wimbledon champion, fell to 0-40 as she served in the first game, then proceeded to win seven straight as she withstood powerful forehand ground strokes from the tall Austrian.

The results: Spain 2 Austria 0: (Conchita Martinez bt Patricia Wartusch 6-0, 7-5; Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario bt Barbara Schett 6-3, 7-6 (5).

Slovakia 1 Italy 1: (Daniela Hantuchova lost to Francesca Schiavone 7-6 (1), 6-1; Janette Husarova beat Silvia Farina Elia (Italy) 6-4, 6-3.

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