Siniakova leads Czechs to sixth Fed Cup title in eight years

by Leon Thompson November 14, 2018, 0:37
Siniakova leads Czechs to sixth Fed Cup title in eight years

Strycova, the 33rd-ranked Czech number two, will hope to put the first point on the board when she faces 19-year-old Kenin, who is still in search of her maiden WTA singles title, on the hardcourt of Prague's O2 Arena at 1300 GMT on Saturday.

Katerina Siniakova beat Sofia Kenin in a marathon three-set battle on Sunday to lead the Czech Republic to a sixth Fed Cup title in eight years after defeating the United States in the final.

No team has ever come back from an 0-2 deficit in a Fed Cup final and the Czechs are unbeaten at home in their last 10 ties, dating back to 2009.

The American teenager gave her best to earn her first Fed Cup win but she had no strength for one last push in the deciding set, handing Strycova her 22nd Fed Cup triumph (she made a debut when Sofia was three-year-old).

The U.S. team, though, fielded three Fed Cup newcomers, including Kenin, as they were without Serena and Venus Williams, holders of a combined 30 grand slam singles titles, along with world number six Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, semi-finalist at both Roland Garros and Flushing Meadows. "Anything can happen in the Fed Cup and tomorrow's another day".

At the time of writing, Petra Kvitova was forced out of pre-event training and media commitments with a virus, and her absence would be a tough blow for a team already without world No8, Karolina Pliskova, who is out with a calf injury.

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In doubles, the last match of the final, Riske and Danielle Collins are scheduled to meet No. 1-ranked pair Barbora Krejcikova and Siniakova. She started the final game with a nicely placed crosscourt drop shot on the run and then Kenin returned a backhand wide on match point, igniting Czech celebrations.

Alison Riske of the US.

Siniakova cruised in the first set but fell behind in the second before pulling level.

They traded breaks in games seven and eight as well to stay neck and neck and four good holds sent them into a tie break that Kenin won 7-5 after four mini-breaks and more than 60 minutes of play. "I'm so happy that I could win today in front of such a crowd", Strycova said.

Strycova, who was tearful during the national anthems, said: "It's amusing because it's her first tie and my last one".

"For me it was a lot of emotions", Strycova said on court after the win. "The atmosphere was just incredible".

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