Favored Russia has captured the Fed Cup tennis title for the first time, with a dramatic 3-2 win over defending champion France in Moscow.
The best-of-five match women's team tennis event came down to a decisive doubles rubber Sunday, after the teams split their opening singles on Saturday and the reverse singles matches earlier in the day.
With the championship hanging in the balance, Russia brought in the unbeaten Anastasia Myskina in place of Elena Likhovtseva to partner with Vera Zvonareva in the doubles, while French captain Guy Forget stuck with Emilie Loit and Marion Bartoli.
Myskina and Zvonareva finally won the hard-fought doubles match by defeating Loit and Bartoli 7-6, 7-5 to clinch the title.
Earlier Sunday, Myskina put Russia up 2-1 with a (6-3, 6-4) win over Nathalie Dechy, before Frenchwoman Tatiana Golovin beat Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia (6-4, 6-1) to even the tie (best-of-five series) at 2-2.
In the opening singles Saturday, Dechey outlasted Kuznetsova 3-6, 7-6, 8-6, while Myskina topped Golovin 6-4, 7-6.
Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.