Sunday, 17 February, 2019


Strycova beats Kenin as Czechs lead USA in Fed Cup final

Strycova beats Kenin as Czechs lead USA in Fed Cup final Strycova beats Kenin as Czechs lead USA in Fed Cup final
Noah Ferguson | 13 November, 2018, 11:12

Barbora Strycova will launch the Czech Republic's Fed Cup victory bid on Saturday when she faces American Sofia Kenin in the opening match on Saturday.

In an exciting back-and-forth rubber lasting three hours 45 minutes, Siniakova held off the 19-year-old Fed Cup debutante 7-5 5-7 7-5 to give the Czechs a 3-0 win in the best-of-five final before being embraced by team mates in front of the 14,500 fans at the O2 Arena.

"It was an incredible game for me, up and down, lots of nerves", Siniakova said.

"I am just terribly happy I won".

"We were preparing for everyone", she said. "But still I think we're the favorites". They traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games of the second set and again at 5-5, with Siniakova missing a chance to cross the finish line on own serve in game 12. But the American put up a fight and narrowly missed forcing a tiebreak before Siniakova took the first set with a strong forehand smash. She has won four Fed Cups.

With the Czechs an unassailable 3-0 up in the best-of-five final, the second reverse singles and the doubles were cancelled.

But Strycova was not broken as she romped to the second set and claimed what proved to be a tense decider having briefly stumbled from a commanding position at 5-2 in front of a patriotic home crowd. "I felt awful there".

"I hope I can use this experience", said the 22-year-old Siniakova.

"Actually, after the first point I was thinking, you know, you've played so many tie-breaks this year and you won nearly all". 'A fighter'That is what happened - Siniakova took the game, earned a break and won the set 7-5. She evened the match with a forehand victor past Siniakova for set point.

"Despite everything, we're still the favourites because our girls are great players", Czech captain Petr Pala told reporters.

Kvitova returned to the team this year after recovering from injuries she suffered during a knife attack at her home in December 2016.

Kenin did not go down without an epic fight. "It's disappointing for me because I had two match points and it could have turned things around but".

"I am proud of the way I competed".

The inexperienced United States of America team are without Serena and Venus Williams as well as Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, while the hosts have Karolina Pliskova injured.

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