Czech Republic Wins Fed Cup in Dramatic Style
The Czech Republic clinched the first Fed Cup title in 23 years on November 6th, when Lucie Hradecka and Kveta Peschke defeated Russian pairing of Maria Kirilenko and Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-2 to secure a dramatic 3-2 win over Russian Team in the final.
It is the first title since 1988 for the Czechs, when the Czechoslovakia team defeated the Soviet Union 2-1 in the epic final.
This victory is also milestone in a hugely successful season for Petra Kvitova, who won both of her singles matches, bringing key points to her team. former top-ten player Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova managed to beat Czech No. 2 Lucie Safarova to get the final to the decisive doubles match.
“Petra secured two points, but we still needed one more,” Czech captain Petr Pala noted. “I’m happy we’ve managed to get the third one.”
Russia legendary captain Shamil Tarpischev as well hailed Kvitova.
“The Czechs clinched the title thanks to Kvitova’s flawless play,” Tarpischev said.
The Russian pairing broke early in the first set for a 4-2 lead, but the Czechs broke back to take the first set, at 6-4 and never looked back, taking the second set 6-2.
“The Czechs played superbly, they dominated the game and gave us no chance,” Vesnina admitted.
Earlier on Sunday, second-ranked Kvitova rallied to defeat Kuznetsova 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. After that Pavlyuchenkova, who replaced Kirilenko, kept the Home crowd’ hopes alive by beating Safarova 6-2, 6-4.
Kvitova kept her winning record in six Fed Cup matches she played in 2011. This was her 12th consecutive victory after winning back-to-back titles in Linz and WTA Championships in Istanbul a week before.
Kvitova won six titles, including Wimbledon and moved yp to No. 2 in WTA rankings.
Russia was hit by the absence of its top players. Maria Sharapova has an ankle injury, whereas Vera Zvonareva, who was expected to lead the team, was forced to withdraw on Friday because of a shoulder injury.
Tarpischev said Zvonareva’s late withdrawal forced him to make some last moment decisions and call up Elena Vesnina, who was already on vacation.
Russia has clinched four Fed Cup titles since 2004 and had an unbeaten record in home matches, with 10 consecutive wins since losing to France in 2003.