RIMINI, Italy — American Varvara Lepchenko won in her Fed Cup singles debut to lift the U.S. team to a 1-1 tie against Italy on Saturday, after Sara Errani beat Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-1.
Lepchenko rallied past Roberta Vinci 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 after the Italian struggled with a leg cramp in the final set, which featured seven breaks of serve. She had treatment on her left thigh and rallied from 5-1 down in the third to tie it 5-5.
Then Lepchenko broke back and served out the match.
The doubles today will feature Melanie Oudin and Liezel Huber against Nastassja Burnett and Karin Knapp. Lepchenko will play Errani in reverse singles.
Lepchenko, who is originally from Uzbekistan, moved to the U.S. in 2001 and claimed political asylum. She officially became a U.S. citizen in 2011 and was part of the team at the London Olympics.
The seventh-ranked Errani needed just over an hour to beat the 64th-ranked Hampton.