Nadal wins again; U.S. ties Italy in Fed Cup

United States' Varvara Lepchenko celebrates after defeating Italy's Roberta Vinci during a World Group first round Fed Cup tennis match at the 105 stadium in Rimini, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. Lepchenko won 2-6, 6-4, 7-5. (AP Photo/Felice Calabro') Show caption
United States' Varvara Lepchenko celebrates after defeating Italy's Roberta Vinci during a World Group first round Fed Cup tennis match at the 105 stadium in Rimini, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. Lepchenko won 2-6, 6-4, 7-5. (AP Photo/Felice Calabro')

VINA DEL MAR, Chile — Rafael Nadal beat Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday, putting the Spaniard in both finals of the VTR Open after a seven-month layoff due to a left knee injury and a stomach virus.

Nadal and Juan Monaco won their doubles semifinal on Friday, meaning Nadal is scheduled to play twice on Sunday. He will face Argentine Horacio Zeballos in the singles final and Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace in doubles.

The former No. 1 has played six matches in five days and has yet to drop a set.

Fed Cup

U.S. TIED WITH ITALY: In Rimini, Italy, American Varvara Lepchenko won in her Fed Cup singles debut to lift the United States to a 1-1 tie against Italy on Saturday.

In other Group I first-round matches, the Czech Republic led Australia 2-0, while Slovakia-Serbia and Japan-Russia were tied 1-1.

Lepchenko rallied past Roberta Vinci 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 after Sara Errani defeated Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-1.

Vinci struggled with a leg cramp in the final set, which had 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.

Lepchenko broke back and served out the match.

The seventh-ranked Errani needed just over an hour to win over the 64th-ranked Hampton.

The doubles on Sunday will feature Melanie Oudin and Liezel Huber against Nastassja Burnett and Karin Knapp.

Varvara Lepchenko will play Errani in reverse singles.

Serena and Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens are injured, so Hampton and Lepchenko made their Fed Cup singles debuts. Veterans Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta, who have struggled lately, were left off Italy’s squad.

Italy beat the U.S. in back-to-back Fed Cup finals in 2009 and 2010.

In Ostrava, Czech Republic, Petra Kvitova defeated Jarmila Gajdosova 7-6 (2), 6-3 before Lucie Safarova edged Sam Stosur 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4). The Czechs are one win away from the semifinals against Italy or the United States.

In Nis, Serbia, Dominika Cibulkova led Vesna Dolonc 6-4, 5-4 when a leg muscle strain forced her to retire after Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova defeated Bojana Jovanovski 7-5, 6-2.

In Moscow, Ayumi Morita beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 6-2, and Maria Kirilenko defeated veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm 7-6 (3), 6-4.

Zagreb Indoors

Cilic, Melzer in final: In Zagreb, Croatia, top-seeded Marin Cilic will face Jurgen Melzer in the Zagreb Indoors final on Sunday.

Cilic rallied past defending champion Mikhail Youzhny 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 Saturday, while Melzer defeated Robin Haase 7-6 (2), 6-3.

Cilic was given two time-violation penalties before advancing to his 16th career final. He was penalized for the first time in the opening set and again in the third, when Youzhny took a 3-2 lead but failed to win another game.

Cilic, who owns a 6-2 record against Melzer, is aiming for his ninth career title.

Melzer won 33 of 36 points on his first serve to advance to his 12th career final.

Open Sud de France

Gasquet, Paire win for all-French finaL: In Paris, Richard Gasquet will face Benoit Paire in an all-French final Sunday at the Open Sud de France.

Gasquet defeated Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 , while Paire overcame Michael Llodra 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Gasquet had eight aces and broke Nieminen’s serve five times. Paire had 17 aces, rallying to reach his second career final.