Defending champion Russia has taken a 2-0 lead over the United States while France leads Spain 2-0 after the first day of the Fed Cup women's tennis semifinal round.

On a clay court in Moscow's Olympic Stadium, former French open champion Anastasia Myskina of Russia defeated Wimbledon champion Venus Williams of the United States in the opening match, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

In the second match, Elena Dementieva of Russia downed Mashona Washington, a late replacement for world number one Lindsay Davenport, 7-5, 6-4. Davenport could not play in Moscow because of a back injury.

Meanwhile in Aix-en-Provence, Amelie Mauresmo gave home country France the lead over Spain with a straight-set win over Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-4, 6-3. Former French Open champion Mary Pierce of France then defeated Nuria Llagostera Vives in the day's second match (6-4, 6-4).

The doubles and the reverse singles are Sunday in both series. The winners of this week's best-of-five match semifinals will meet in the Fed Cup finals in September.

Some information for this report provided by AP.