Bouchard too good for Pennetta

The 20-year-old won 6-3 6-4 without once losing her serve, as the Canadians beat Italy 2-1 in Perth.

The world No 6 said: “Each game was kind of like a battle and I’m happy I was able to keep my serve in the second set. She was really putting pressure on me.???

Vasek Pospisil made it 2-0 with a 6-0 6-3 victory over Fabio Fognini, before Italy won the concluding mixed doubles, involving the same four players, in three sets (3-6 6-3 10-7).

However, Canada???s chances of reaching Saturday???s final will depend on the result of the contest involving the United States and the Czech Republic who play later on Thursday.

The Czechs, who have won their opening two matches in the competition, are favourites to top Group B.

Group A, which includes Great Britain, will be decided on Friday when Poland are in pole position to reach the final.