Japan denied Fed Cup semis spot by Russia


Japan lost to 2011 runner-up Russia 3-2 in the first round of the Fed Cup on Sunday, missing out on its first semifinal berth in 17 years.

Ayumi Morita won in the singles for the second straight day, defeating Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-1, but Kimiko Date-Krumm went down at the hands of Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 6-1. Morita and Misaki Doi then dropped the doubles 6-2, 6-2 to Makarova and Vesnina.

Russia will face Slovakia in the last four. Japan heads to the April 20-21 World Group playoffs.

“My Achilles had been hurting since yesterday and it wasn’t any better when I got up this morning,” the 42-year-old Date-Krumm said. “I couldn’t do anything for the team.”

“I wasn’t good enough. It hurts.”