Czechs 2-0 up on U.S. in Fed Cup final

Doug Mendoza
November 13, 2018

The Czech Republic are in sight of a sixth Fed Cup title in the last eight years after victories for Barbora Strycova and Katerina Siniakova in Prague.

Kathy Rinaldi, who took over as usa captain in 2017, has named world number 36 Danielle Collins, 52nd ranked Sofia Kenin, number 63 Alison Riske and Czech-born doubles specialist Nicole Melichar to keep her unbeaten Fed Cup record intact.

However, with the finishing line in sight, the world number 31 stuttered.

A battling Kenin claimed a dramatic and gruelling opening set that contained four breaks of serve in 64 minutes, a run of four straight points in the tie-break proving crucial. No63 Alison Riske makes up the number: She has played just three Fed Cup rubbers, with her only win coming in singles against Andrea Petkovic in the 2017 quarter-finals.

"I definitely do like the court a lot", she told media just after the draw was made.

"It was an incredible game for me, up and down, lots of nerves", Siniakova said.

Making her debut in the competition, Kenin rose to the occasion and never seemed afraid of the roaring crowd.

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"I was pretty nervous but I was able to handle it", she said.

"That match today, both girls, both players were incredible", she said.

In a hard-fought match at the O2 Arena, the 22-year-old Siniakova saved two match points when Kenin was serving at 5-4, and went on to convert her second match point on the indoor hardcourt in front of 14,500 fans.

A 4-1 deficit in the first set proved too much for Riske to recover from, and while she showed fight to break when her opponent was serving for the match in the second, the American fell 6-1 down in a awful tie-break, Siniakova claiming victory with her second match point.

"It was disgusting, the worst (moment)", Siniakova said about the match points she faced.

Trailing 3-1, the American wasted five break points in a game that took 19 minutes. "But it's not finished yet and we need to be ready for tomorrow".

The US are missing Sloane Stephens, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Madison Keys, while the Czechs are without Karolina Pliskova and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who has ended up on the bench with a bad cold.

Other reports by GizPress

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