Sunday, November 6, 2011

Czech Republic wins 2011 Fed Cup title

The Czech Republic, led by world number 2 Petra Kvitova, has defeated Russia 3-2 to win the 2011 Fed Cup championship. The teams went into the second day of play tied 1-1, then Kvitova came back from a third set 0-3 deficit to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third rubber. Russia put the competition into a tie again when Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Lucie Safarova 6-2, 6-4.

Kvitova's first-set service game was erratic and awkward and she was repeatedly broken. She pulled it together for the second set. But, she said of the final set , "When I had three-love down, I didn't think that I can still win. My captain told me, it's only one break, so go for it. It was very important game for me."

It all came down to doubles, and the Czech team of Lucie Hradecka and Kveta Peschke defeated the Russians, Maria Kirilenko and Elena Vesnina, 6-4, 6-2. Russia led 4-2 in the opening set, but the Czech team broke back and then held onto their momentum. All four players are known for their doubles skills. The winning players each won a major this year in doubles; Hradecka (with Andrea Hlavackova) won the French Open, and Peschke (with Katarina Srebotnik) won Wimbledon.

This is the first time that the Czech Republic has won Fed Cup, though team Czechoslovakia won the title five times. Kvitova is 6-0 for the year in Fed Cup play, and she ends the season with a 21-0 indoor record.

Petr Pala is the Czech team's captain.

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