Kvitova sends Czechs into Fed Cup final|
Ostrava, Czech Republic (Sports Network) - Petra Kvitova beat Francesca
Schiavone in a battle of Grand Slam champions to send the Czech Republic into
the Fed Cup final for the second straight year.
Kvitova, the reigning Wimbledon champ, earned a 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) victory over
Schiavone, the 2010 French Open winner, to give the Czechs an insurmountable
3-0 lead over Italy in the best-of-five tie.
The Czechs won their first Fed Cup championship last year, beating Russia in
the final. A repeat matchup was denied by Serbia, which beat Russia in this
weekend's other semifinal. The Czechs will host the Serbs for the championship
"It's an unbelievable feeling," said Kvitova. "I really wanted to be in the
The Czechs completed a 4-1 victory on Sunday.
Sara Errani gave the Italians their lone point of the weekend with a 2-6, 6-2,
6-2 win over Andrea Hlavackova in the second reverse singles match, before the
Czech doubles team of Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka were awarded the win when
the Italian tandem of Errani and Flavia Pennetta retired in the first set.
Kvitova took control early in the first match Sunday by winning the first
three games, but Schiavone rallied with the next four games. Kvitova, after
having her serve broken twice, regrouped and broke back for 4-4 before also
capturing the next two games to win the opening set.
Schiavone secured an early break in the second set and was serving to force a
decisive third with a 5-4 lead, but Kvitova won the 10th game and the set went
to a tiebreak, which the Czech dominated. She won the first six points before
finishing it on her second match point to set off a wild celebration.
"Every Fed Cup I'm playing I'm nervous," Kvitova remarked. "Francesca played
unbelievable tennis. I'm very happy I won."
Kvitova won both of her singles rubbers this weekend, topping Errani in the
second of Saturday's opening matches, 6-4, 6-3. Lucie Safarova had given the
Czechs the early advantage Saturday with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 victory over
The Czechs gained a measure of revenge for a 5-0 loss to Italy in the 2010 Fed
Cup semifinals. The Italians went on to win their second straight championship
Italy still owns a 4-2 lead in the overall series.
04/22 11:15:12 ET