KOEN SUYKAAP

Beaten Aussies out of the world group in Fed Cup

THE Czech Republic beat France to earn a place in its third Fed Cup final in four years, but Australia was left searching for answers after dropping out of the World Group following a 4-1 loss to the Netherlands in Hertogenbosch.

After Australia split the opening day's singles matches, Casey Dellacqua lost to world No.86 Kiki Bertens 6-2 6-3, before world No.217 Arantxa Rus completed the humiliation by beating Jarmila Gajdosova 0-6 7-5 7-5.

Australian captain Alicia Molik was philosophical about the result after an Achilles complaint meant Sam Stosur was unable to take her place in the team.

"It's a very disappointing day for us naturally, but credit to Arantxa Rus," Molik said. "We have work to do to fight our way back to the World Group."

The US is also out after a 3-2 loss to Italy.

The Czech Republic will host Russia in the final.


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