France defeated the Slovak Republic in their Fed Cup play-off this weekend, with a lot of help from Amelie Mauresmo, who won both her singles matches and her doubles match. Mauresmo defeated Dominika Cibulkova and Daniela Hantuchova in singles, then teamed with doubles expert Nathalie Dechy to defeat Cibulkova and Hantuchova in the deciding rubber. Because of this win, France stays in the World Group.
Spain, a Fed Cup anchor, lost 0-4 to Serbia this weekend. The score might have been slightly less dismal, but the doubles match was suspended after a set (won by Spain) and one game. The rubber was labeled "Played and abandoned," a phrase I've neve seen before with regard to a tennis match, but which brings forth all manner of images that have nothing to do with tennis.
Germany defeated China 3-2, in one of the more closely contested World Group contests. Li Na had to withdraw from Fed Cup, but China still had two excellent singles players is Zheng Jie and Peng Shuai, and three good doubles players in Zheng, Peng and Sun Tiantian. Charleston champion Sabine Lisicki defeated Zheng, and Zheng defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld. Groenefeld, in turn, defeated Peng, and Peng then won her match against Tajana Malek. The German team of Groenefeld and Lisicki won the doubles rubber against Zheng and Peng.
Argentina lost 0-5 to Ukraine. Gisela Dulko, Argentina's only really good player, decided not to play in this Fed Cup play-off, and the country's next-best player, Betina Jozami, had to withdraw because of injury. Led by Alona Bondarenko, the Ukraine team--which also included Mariya Koryttseva and Olga Savchuk (Kateryna Bondarenko had to withdraw because of injury)--is now part of the World Group.