Sharapova and Kuznetsova put Russia in charge against Spain

    Maria Sharapova got Russia off to a winning start in their Fed Cup tie with Spain.

    Story highlights

    • Maria Sharapova helps Russia to a 2-0 lead in the opening matches of Fed Cup against Spain
    • Czech Republic also in command of their tie against Germany in Stuttgart
    • Ukraine and Italy all-square after opening day as are Belgium and Serbia
    Russia have a 2-0 lead after the opening singles' matches of their Fed Cup first round tie against Spain.
    Both Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova cruised to straight-sets victories against Silvia Soler-Espinosa and Carla Suarez Navarro respectively.
    Sharapova dropped just three games as she powered to a 6-2 6-1 victory, while Kuznetsova won almost as convincingly 6-3 6-1.
    "It was a little tough at the beginning and I felt a bit nervous as I didn't play so well last year and I really wanted to change that result and I really concentrated on my game even despite the fact that I didn't know that much about my opponent," Sharapova said, reported.
    The tie between Ukraine and Italy is all-square thanks to a stunning 6-1 6-2 win for Lesia Tsurenko over Francesca Schiavone in Biella, Italy.
    The Ukrainian, ranked more than 100 places below the 2010 French Open champion, ran out at easy winner despite the Italian's home soil advantage.
    Earlier, Sara Errani had put Italy head with a comfortable 6-2 6-3 victory over Kateryna Bondarenko to give the 2010 Fed Cup champions a 1-0 lead.
    Meanwhile in Stuttgart, world number two Petra Kvitova ensured the Czech Republic took a 2-0 on the opening day against Germany.
    The reigning Wimbledon champion won an epic match against Julia Goerges 3-6 6-3 10-8 to extend her unbeaten run on indoor courts to 26 matches.
    Earlier in the day, Iveta Benesova gave the Czechs a shock 1-0 lead by defeating Sabine Lisicki.
    Last year's Wimbledon semi-finalist took the opening set but Benesova fought back to eventually prevail 2-6 6-4 6-2.
    In Charleroi, Yanina Wickmayer put Belgium back on level terms against Serbia with a 6-4 6-4 win over Bojana Jovanovski after Jelena Jankovic had defeated Kirsten Flipkens 7-5 7-5 in the opening rubber.