Fed Cup Final: Strycova And Siniakova Give Czechs 2-0 Lead In Prague - UBITENNIS
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Fed Cup

Fed Cup Final: Strycova And Siniakova Give Czechs 2-0 Lead In Prague

Barbora Strycova and Katerina Siniakova gave the Czech Republic a 2-0 lead over the USA in the Fed Cup final in Prague.

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Barbora Strycova (zimbio.com)

After day one of the Fed Cup final, Barbora Strycova and Katerina Siniakova have given the Czech Republic a 2-0 lead over USA in Prague. 

An emotional Barbora Strycova defeated Sofia Kenin 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 in 2 hours and 43 minutes to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

While Siniakova consolidated the lead with a straight sets win over a tough Alison Riske, who was also very emotional during the opening ceremony.

The Americans are without a top 30 player this week as the Czechs managed without Petra Kvitova for today’s action. Katerina Siniakova can seal the Fed Cup for the Czech Republic with a win over Alison Riske.

The final started with Strycova and Riske barely being able to control their emotions as the Czech Republican knew that this would be her final Fed Cup tie.

The dramatic Czech was up against world number 52, Sofia Kenin who was making her Fed Cup debut. It was a nervy first set from Strycova, who struggled to neutralise Kenin’s power on serve.

Two breaks were given away as Kenin forced a tight first set tiebreak in what was a fired-up O2 Arena in Prague. The American took her second set point to take the first set.

Emotions were more controlled in the second set as Strycova’s spin caused Kenin trouble and made her more confident as a result.

Two breaks of serve was enough as the world number 33 took the first rubber to a deciding set, which saw Petra Kvitova and her fellow Czech Republicans ecstatic.

Despite Kenin pulling back a 4-1 deficit and reducing the set to a single break, it wasn’t enough as a picture-perfect volley gave Strycova the victory and with it the first rubber.

After the match Strycova explained why she was so emotional, “It’s funny because it’s her first tie and my last one,” she announced.

“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 – it means a lot to me.”

The veteran’s hard work was consolidated in the second rubber as Katerina Siniakova powered past Alison Riske 6-3 7-6(2) to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.

A medium-fast hardy would’ve given the American the advantage but that wasn’t the case as Siniakova proved too good from the back of the court.

The win means Czech Republic are a rubber away from winning their sixth Fed Cup title and their fourth in five years. They would also seal their first win over USA in 33 years.

The question is now will it be Katerina Siniakova or Petra Kvitova that gets the honour of sealing the Fed Cup for the Czech Republic?

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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(@FedCup - Twitter)

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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