Fed Cup final: Czechs take 2-0 lead over United States

Fed Cup final: Czechs take 2-0 lead over United States

Fed Cup final: Czechs take 2-0 lead over United States

The Czech player won 72 per cent of points from her first serve, including five aces, on her way to a 6-3, 7-6 victory.

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.

The mighty Czech Fed Cup team will hope to harness all its home support in Prague this weekend when it comes up against one of its most formidable adversaries, the USA.

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

Strycova took a 5-2 lead in the third and despite giving up two breaks, she took the set 6-4.

"Anything can happen in Fed Cup and tomorrow is another day", she said.

The result means the Czechs have now won the event six times in the last eight years, their latest triumph coming despite being without the injured Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova, who was absent from Saturday's singles due to illness.

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The clash will begin with Kenin taking on Barbora Strycova before Riske faces Katerina Siniakova.

In doubles, the last match of the final, Riske and Danielle Collins are scheduled to meet No. 1-ranked pair Barbora Krejcikova and Siniakova. The Czech dominated it, converting the second match point when Riske sent a backhand wide.

The Czechs were without their two top players against a United States team who were the defending champions but were also missing their stars and fielding three tournament newcomers, including Kenin.

Siniakova broke Riske for 6-5 in the second set but the 63rd -ranked American forced a tiebreaker. Only Alison Riske has participated before, in three ties.

The 32-year-old Strycova, who has announced retirement from the Fed Cup after the final, struggled with her serve throughout a nervous first set.

"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".

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

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