Kenin to open Fed Cup final for U.S. against Strycova | AP sports

Nov 14, 2018, 00:40
Kenin to open Fed Cup final for U.S. against Strycova | AP sports

The Czech Republic has been the dominant team in the Fed Cup in the last eight years or so, winning five of the last seven titles and looking good to add another one on Sunday after taking a 2-0 lead over the defending champions U.S. in front of the packed O2 Arena in Prague!

Playing in her last tie, the 32-year-old Strycova won her match with a backhand victor at the net on her first match point to improve to 11-7 in Fed Cup singles.

The United States beat Belarus in Minsk in last year's final after seeing off the Czechs in the semi-final, with Siniakova making her debut as Czech number one then.

The Czech team, facing a usa squad without their top players and fielding three debutantes, will take a 2-0 lead into Sunday as they seek a sixth Fed Cup title since 2011.

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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. Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has ended up on the bench with a bad cold, although she is hoping to play on Sunday. "I was just enjoying the moment and trying to play my game", Siniakova said. But it could be the singles rubbers that determine the result, and fortunately Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Strycova are also ranked 31 and 33 respectively in singles.

Siniakova cruised through the first set of her encounter with Riske, forging ahead through a pair of breaks after indulging in groundstrokes and long rallies.

Alison Riske of the US.

Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova are then scheduled to face Danielle Collins and the Czech-born Nicole Melichar in the final doubles rubber.

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"We're going to see a lot of young players", she said of the finals which take place in Prague on Saturday and Sunday.

It was the ideal start for the Czechs, winners of five of the last seven Fed Cup titles and unbeaten in 10 home ties since 2009.

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

"It's amusing because it's her (Kenin) first one, and this is my last one, so for me it was a lot of emotions". I fought for every ball, and I'm so happy I could win today in front of this crowd.

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