Fed Cup | The Czechs take on the US in the final
The two nations with the most Fed Cup titles have emerged from this year’s competition to decide which of them will take home the Cup, The Czech Republic or the USA.
Both nations lost a rubber in their semi-finals to progress 3-1 past Germany and France respectively despite their opponents holding the advantage of playing at home
I knew we still needed one point from our last two games and I just did my best Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova defeated Angelique Kerber 6-2 6-2 in under an hour to send the Czech Republic to the Fed Cup final in Stuttgart for what would be the Czech’s sixth final in eight years.
She struck seven aces and converted six break opportunities to secure the place in the final over a dejected Kerber who had witnessed her team mate Julia Goerges put up their solitary point when defeating Karolina Pliskova 6-4 6-2 in the first of Sunday’s reverse single rubbers in Stuttgart. The victory was secured in just under the hour on Goerges’ eighth ace.
“I am very relieved. I was getting nervous before this game,” admitted Kvitova after the 30th win of her Fed Cup career.
“We had a great position from yesterday, I think Julia played a really good match.
“I knew we still needed one point from our last two games and I just did my best.”
In Sunday’s concluding dead doubles, Barbora Strycova and Katerina Siniakova took the first set 7-5 before being awarded the match when Goerges, playing alongside Anna-Lena Groenefeld, retired hurt.
That was the final straw for the German contingent with Kerber admitting: “It will take a while to get over it.”
Having entered the second day level with France, the US swept the board to claim their place in the final with Madison Keys seeing off Pauline Parmentier 7-6(4) 6-4 in the opening rubber in Aix-en-Provence after Sloane Stephens had improved their position with a 6-2 6-0 win over Kristina Mladenovic.
Keys, who replaced CoCo Vandeweghe, battled back after trailing Parmentier 4-1 in the first set, said: “It feels amazing, but not for me — but to do that for this team and help us back to the final.
“I knew (Pauline) would play well, she was so good against Sloane (Stephens) yesterday.
“I love playing in atmospheres like this, even if they are not all cheering for you it still makes for a great game. It is going to be a crazy final.”
France were always going to face an uphill task, missing a posse of established stars like world number seven Caroline Garcia in captain Yannick Noah’s Fed Cup swansong but then the Americans arrived without the services of the Williams sisters.
The Czechs, who have home advantage over the Americans in the November 10-11 final, had won the title three times in a row until the US dethroned them last year.