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Czech Republic win sixth Fed Cup title in last eight years with 3-0 triumph over USA

Andrew Hendrie in News 11 Nov 2018
  • Czech Republic beat USA 3-0 to win 2018 Fed Cup
  • Siniakova defeated Kenin in a marathon three-setter to seal the victory in Prague
The Czech Republic team celebrate their 2018 Fed Cup victory (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

Katerina Siniakova pulled off a dramatic win over USA’s Sofia Kenin to seal Czech Republic a 3-0 triumph and a sixth Fed Cup title in the last eight years in Prague on Sunday.

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Elevated to the Czech No. 1 player position after the withdrawals of Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova, the 22-year-old Siniakova was the heroine for the home nation as she won both of her singles rubbers against Kenin and Alison Riske to guide Czech Republic home to an 11th Fed Cup crown - and a first ever triumph over defending champions USA.

Siniakova and Kenin toiled away on court for three hours and 44 minutes in a marathon encounter, with the Czech saving two match points to come away with the memorable victory. Kenin, who turns 20 in a few days, was brave in her Fed Cup debut, pushing Barbora Strycova to three sets in her opening rubber before recovering from 4-5 down in the second set and 1-4 down in the decider, but ultimately Siniakova’s powerful game was too much to handle as she registered a 7-5 5-7 7-5 win.

“It’s amazing, unbelievable,” said Siniakova. “I cannot imagine a better finish for the season. I’m just really happy.
“It was so tough. We both played amazing tennis and there were so many ups and downs. I was still trying to fight, because I felt like I was playing great, and I was losing! In the end I was so happy that I could fight back. For me it means a lot.”


Kenin earned many admirers for her performance inside Prague’s O2 Arena this weekend, with the 19-year-old battling away on court over the course of her two singles rubbers for more than six hours - but unfortunately she couldn’t quite get over the line for USA, who were missing the Williams sisters, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys.

“I’ve always had that,” Kenin said of her fighting spirit. “Captain Kathy knows me, that I’ll fight to the end no matter what. It doesn’t matter how long I have to stay there, as long as I’m fighting.”

Czech Republic celebrate their victory (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
But the day belonged to Czech Republic as the nation extended their recent Fed Cup dominance to secure a sixth title in the last eight years, following on from triumphs in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Czech Republic also avenged their semi-final defeat to USA in last year’s competition.

“Today was just extraordinary, unbelievable,” Czech captain Petr Pala said. “I’m glad that we finished after three singles matches, because it could have gone either way.
“And at three hours, 44 minutes, both girls deserve great respect for how they fought and how they dealt with the pressure. They were fighting until the end, fighting for every point, so many emotions, ups and downs on both sides.”

It was also a fairytale farewell for Strycova, who was playing in her last ever Fed Cup tie after 16 years of representing her country. The 32-year-old beat Kenin in three sets on Saturday to give the Czech’s a commanding 2-0 lead heading into Sunday.


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Czech Republic win sixth Fed Cup title in last eight years with 3-0 triumph over USA

Katerina Siniakova pulled off a dramatic win over USA’s Sofia Kenin to seal Czech Republic a 3-0 triumph and a sixth Fed Cup title in the last eight years in Prague on Sunday.

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