Bad day for Ana and Serbia

Bad day for Ana and Serbia

Ana had a weekend to forget as she lost both her Fed Cup rubbers on Sunday, contributing to Serbia's 3-2 defeat by Russia in Belgrade.

Competing in the World Group I for the first time, Serbia led 2-1 thanks to Jelena Jankovic's excellent three-set victory over world No.4 Svetlana Kuznetsova. This win came 24 hours after the indefatiguiable Jankovic had recovered from a 6-4, 4-0 deficit to beat Russian No.2 Alisa Kleybanova.

The pressure was then on Ana to potentially seal an historic victory as she faced Kleybanova in the fourth rubber.

Ana played more positively than she did during Saturday's defeat to Kuznetsova, but her timing was badly off and she went down 6-2, 6-3.

This meant that the tie would be decided in the doubles rubber, a scenario that looked ominous for Serbia considering that neither Ana nor Jankovic are regular doubles practioners.

Nevertheless, both players came out with smiles on their faces, and they fought valiantly against the Russian pairing of Kuznetsova and Kleybanova.

Just as they had done all weekend, the crowd provided tremendous support.

Unfortunately, both home players were let down by their serves: neither of them held serve during the opening set, which they lost 6-1.

Ana's form continued to desert her but she played some great stuff at the net in the second set and that, allied to Jankovic's ultra-consistency from the baseline, meant that Serbia recovered promisingly.

They led 4-2 and at this moment a Super Tiebreak to decide which nation would advance to the semi-finals looked a real possibility.

However, Jankovic was broken during a lengthy eighth game and the Russians seized the momentum thereafter, breaking Ana in the final game to seal victory.