Petra Kvitova and Barbora Strykova give Czech Republic a 2-0 lead over Switzerland - UBITENNIS
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Fed Cup

Petra Kvitova and Barbora Strykova give Czech Republic a 2-0 lead over Switzerland

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Petra Kvitova and Barbora Strykova won the opening two singles matches to give Czech Republic a 2-0 lead over Switzerland in the first day of the BNP Paribas Fed Cup World Group first round.

Petra Kvitova gave Czech Republic a 1-0 lead over Switzerland with her 6-2 1-6 6-3 win over world number 100 Viktorija Golubic. The world number 21 and two-time Wimbledon champion won 82 % of her first serve points and dropped just one point on her serve in the first set.

Kvitova got an immediate break in the first game of the second set. Golubic, who beat Karolina Pliskova and Barbora Strykova the last time Czech Republic and Switzerland clashed in the Fed Cup semifinal in 2016, broke serve in a hard-fought fourth game of the second set to open up a 3-1 lead en route to winning six consecutive games in the second set.

Kvitova broke serve to build a 3-0 lead. Golubic pulled the break back to draw level to 3-3. Kvitova got another break in the eighth game, when Golubic double faulted as she served at 3-4 30-40.

Golubic earned a break point at 30-40 but Kvitova hit two consecutive service winners to save them before sealing the win on her first match point with a backhand volley at the net.

Kvitova hit 32 winners compared to Golubic’s 44.

The Czech star has returned to the Fed Cup for the first time since recovering from injuries in a knife attack at her home in December 2016.

“It was up and down. I started well and she looked a bit nervous at first, but I struggled physically and also mentally in the second set. I said to myself, I didn’t want to be the next Czech to lose to Golubic”, said Kvitova.

Barbora Strykova beat Belinda Bencic 6-2 6-4 in the second match to put Czech Republic one win away from their 10th consecutive Fed Cup semifinals.

Strykova went up a double break in the first and seventh games to win the first set 6-2. The Czech player broke serve to open up a 4-1 lead in the second set. Bencic broke back to reduce the gap to 3-4 in the seventh game. Strykova served out the match on her first match point after Bencic made her 23rd unforced error.

“It was a solid game from me. I am grateful for the point. It’s pretty important”, said Strykova.

Fed Cup

Copper Box Arena To Host Historic Fed Cup Tie Against Kazakhstan

Great Britain will host Kazakhstan in the Copper Box Arena in April in their World Group II Play-Off tie.

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The Copper Box Arena will host Great Britain’s historic Fed Cup World Group II tie against Kazakhstan in April. 

The venue was announced on Thursday afternoon as Great Britain prepare for a historic World Group II tie against Kazakhstan in April.

The Copper Box Arena hosted some Olympic events in 2012 and has a capacity of 5,800 as Great Britain look to build on the momentum they picked up in Bath in February.

It is located in Hackney, London not too far from where Great Britain’s Fed Cup captain, Anne Keothavong, grew up and has stated the importance of April’s tie, “It’s very special to come back to my home borough of Hackney,” she said at a visit to Clapton Girls Academy.

“Having grown up and started playing tennis here, I never dreamt that one day I would be coming back and leading the British team in what is the world cup of women’s team tennis.

“Looking ahead to April, words can’t describe the sense of anticipation we are going to have playing our first World Group play-off at home. 

“Home support makes such a massive difference in sport and we saw the impact the GB fans had in getting the team over the line in Bath recently.”

The tie is set to be Great Britain’s first home-and-away home tie for 28 years and Keothavong is looking for a big home support on Easter weekend, “For the fans, I’m hoping that seeing our players perform with all they have got will inspire the next generation of kids to get out there and get involved with tennis.”

The tie will take place on the weekend of the 20th and 21st of April with tickets expected to be priced at around £12. This match is expected to be close with not much separating the four singles players involved.

 

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Fed Cup

Fed Cup Draws: Great Britain Get Second Home Tie In Two Months, Czechs Look To Bounce Back

Great Britain will have another home tie as they face Kazakhstan in April’s World Group II Play-Offs

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Johanna Konta (@SkySportsTennis - Twitter)

After waiting 26 years for a home tie, Great Britain will have a second tie in two months as they face Kazakhstan in April’s World Group II Play-Offs. 

After hosting some Zone Group I Europe/Africa action in Bath and successfully qualifying for the World Group II Play-Offs, Great Britain have been handed another home tie.

The Brits will face Kazakhstan in April with the winners getting promoted to the second tier of women’s team tennis, a historic occasion for both nation.

This tie along with the other World Group II and World Group play-off ties will take place on Easter weekend between the 20th and 21st of April.

After finding out the news GB Fed Cup captain Anne Keothavong said she is ready for a raucous atmosphere in April, “We saw the fantastic atmosphere home fans create and the role they play in lifting our players beyond their limits.”

There is strong rumour that the tie could be played at the Copper Box Arena in London although that will be confirmed next week.

Meanwhile the pick of the other ties sees a strong Russia team host Italy while either the Netherlands or Japan face relegation to Zone Group I.

Czechs Look To Bounce Back. 

In the World Group Play-Offs draw the Czech Republic were handed an easy home tie to Canada as they face unchartered territory in April.

The defending champions will play their first play-off tie since losing 3-2 to Romania in an exhilarating tie in Ostrava which was their first defeat on home soil for ten years.

While the other 2018 Fed Cup finalists USA will host Switzerland and Latvia host Germany in a historic tie for the hosts as they look to make the World Group for the first time in their history.

Here is the full World Group and World Group II Play-Offs draw with the ties taking place on the 20th/21st of April:

*Home teams are first

World Group Play-Offs

Czech Republic v Canada

USA v Switzerland

Latvia v Germany

Belgium v Spain

World Group II Play-Offs

Russia v Italy

Japan v Netherlands

Great Britain v Kazakhstan

Slovakia v Brazil

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Fed Cup

Simona Halep Vows To ‘Give Her All’ In Fed Cup Following Shock Win For Romania

The former world No.1 has her eyes set on winning the team competition this year.

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Simona Halep cheering on Romania in their Fed Cup clash with The Czech Republic (image via ubitennis.com)

Reigning French Open champion Simona Halep has pledged to fully commit herself to the Fed Cup after helping guide Romania to a shock win over the weekend.

Halep recorded wins over Katerina Siniakova and Karolina Pliskova during her country’s surprise 3-2 win over heavyweights the Czech Republic. A team who has won the title in six of the past eight years of the competition. The deciding win was clinched in the doubles when Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu defeated Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-4 in a match that lasted just under three hours.

“It was my biggest and best win in the Fed Cup and to win both rubbers against the Czech Republic means a lot to me because they have such a big history in this competition,” Halep told reporters following her win over Pliskova.

Romania now finds themselves in the semifinals of the competition for the first time since 1973. Last year the team defeated Canada in Group II and then won their play-off tie against Switzerland to graduate to the top tier of the competition. They have a winning 6-3 record in the Fed Cup since 2015.

Reflecting on the latest triumph, Halep believes it will help inspire the next generation of players in her home country. During an interview with Telekom Sport on Sunday, the former world No.1 say she will ‘give her all’ to the team this year.

“It was a very tensed match, it was even harder in the stands. I was very nervous. Monica asked me before if I want to get in court, but I told her she is better.” The Romanian Journal quoted Halep as saying.
“We all made a huge effort for this game. We played against a big champion, Czech Republic. the girls are extraordinary, they left their heart on the court, so they managed to win.
“As I said before, this year I am giving all for the Fed Cup team. It is a huge step for us, for our country. The little ones who start playing tennis can trust us. This Fed Cup means something.”

Hoping to reach the final for the first time in history, Romania will take on France in the semi-finals in April. A country they last played back in 1976 at the Spectrum Stadium in Philadelphia, America. France defeated Belgium 3-1 in their quarter-final tie.

The semi-final tie will be held in France at a yet to be confirmed venue. In the other semi-final, Australia will take on Belarus.

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