Tennis: Italy bag third Fed Cup in five years

Italy's Sara Errani celebrates after defeating Russia's Alisa Kleybanova during their International Tennis Federation Fed Cup final match between Italy and Russia in Cagliari, on Nov 3, 2013. Sara Errani romped to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Alisa Kleybanova
Italy's Sara Errani celebrates after defeating Russia's Alisa Kleybanova during their International Tennis Federation Fed Cup final match between Italy and Russia in Cagliari, on Nov 3, 2013. Sara Errani romped to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Alisa Kleybanova in Cagliari to hand Italy an unassailable 3-0 lead over Russia and their third Fed Cup tennis title in five years on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP

ROME (REUTERS) - Sara Errani romped to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Alisa Kleybanova in Cagliari to hand Italy an unassailable 3-0 lead over Russia and their third Fed Cup tennis title in five years on Sunday.

A second-string Russian team, who had to contest the final without top players Maria Kirilenko, Elena Vesnina and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, were always likely to struggle against a team featuring Grand Slam doubles champions Errani and Roberta Vinci.

Errani, who was also a singles runner-up at the 2012 French Open, showed her class and experience as she won both her singles rubbers with the minimum of fuss and wrapped up the title for Italy with two matches to spare in the best-of-five tie.

While the jubilant Italians were leaping for joy at the Cagliari Tennis Club, the Russians were left to digest their second runner-up finish in three years in the team competition.