Strycova beats Kenin as Czechs lead USA in Fed Cup final

Kathy Rinaldi
FED CUPRinaldi rues missed opportunities on first day of Fed Cup
Author

14 November, 2018

In an exciting back-and-forth rubber lasting three hours 45 minutes, Siniakova held off the 19-year-old Fed Cup debutante to give the Czechs a 3-0 win in the final against a United States team who were the defending champions but were missing their top players.

The Czechs won the Fed Cup in five of the previous seven years, and Kvitova contributed to each one to sit fourth among women with the most Fed Cup trophies.

The Czechs claimed their 11th Fed Cup title, including five as part of Czechoslovakia.

The 32-year-old Strycova, who has announced retirement from the Fed Cup after the final, struggled with her serve throughout a nervous first set.

The US and the Czechs are the most successful teams in Fed Cup history, with the hosts also being second best in terms of head-to-head, winning only two of their previous 12 meetings.

But, propelled by the sold-out O2 Arena with 14,500 fans, the four-time Fed Cup victor regained composure in the second to sweep aside the Russian-born Kenin, who is still in search of her maiden WTA singles title.

Strycova and Fed Cup debutant Kenin earned two breaks each, with the more aggressive U.S. teenager taking the set in a tie-break.

"For me it was a lot of emotions".

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

"I am just terribly happy I won".

Kenin admitted she was "a little bit overwhelmed" by her debut. "We didn't get the result that we wanted but nobody can say that we didn't leave all out there".

"I was trying. when I had a chance to be aggressive", said Siniakova, who won the French Open and Wimbledon doubles titles this season with her Czech teammate Barbora Krejcikova. "Of course I expect a tough match", added Siniakova, who has a 2-1 head-to-head record with Riske while Strycova and Kenin have never met on court. "The Czech Republic has a long list of great players to choose from. We'll see what happens - we're prepared, we're ready to go".

Siniakova then saw off 63rd-ranked Alison Riske 6-3, 7-6 (7/2).

"We need to discuss that".

But if Kvitova is unable to play, at least captain Petr Pala has some national depth to draw on.


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