9 Feb 2009

Italy beat France in ill-tempered fed Cup tie

6:55 pm on 9 February 2009

Italy has beaten a bitter French tennis team to set up a Fed Cup semi-final clash with defending champions Russia.

Italy's Flavia Pennetta was given a verbal warning and fined $2,000 for showing her middle finger to the umpire during her win against Amelie Mauresmo.

France claim Pennetta should have been disqualified for the obscene gesture but the host team's protest was not heard.

The bad feeling between the two teams continued to simmer on court but it did not stop Italy from romping to a 5-0 win in the first-round tie.

Despite the French compliant Pennetta kept her cool to demolish Alize Cornet 6-2 6-2 securing the Italians a place in the semi-final.