France shock Italy to reach Fed Cup semis

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Carolina Garcia (R) celebrates with teammate Kristina Mladenovic after winning their double match against Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP
07:51 CET+01:00
Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia stunned the world's top doubles pairing to give France a shock Fed Cup win over Italy in Genoa on Sunday.

The French pair, ranked 20 and 30 respectively in doubles, defeated reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-2 to book a semi-final spot.

The two 21-year-olds had only played together once before, in a Fed Cup clash with Kazakhstan two years ago, but inspired their country to a dramatic comeback victory.

France had started the day 2-0 down in the tie having never before recovered from such a deficit.

And in front of them were the 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2013 Fed Cup champions who had not lost on home soil since 2008.

Mladenovic defeated Errani 6-4, 6-3 before Garcia beat Camila Giorgi 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 to set up a deciding rubber in the quarter-final tie.

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But the coup de grace came in the doubles when five-time Grand Slam winners Errani and Vinci, who have won all four Grand Slams, were put to the sword.

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