Czechs take 2-0 lead over United States in Fed Cup final

Alison Riske attending the Fed Cup draw ceremony

The Czech Republic has been the dominant team in the Fed Cup in the last eight years or so, winning five of the last seven titles and looking good to add another one on Sunday after taking a 2-0 lead over the defending champions United States of America in front of the packed O2 Arena in Prague! The remaining two matches were not played.

The competition's two most successful nations were meeting in a Fed Cup final for the first time in more than three decades.

Meanwhile, former French Open finalist Lucie Safarova, a four-time champion as part of the Czech side, announced she will retire after the Australian Open at the age of 31 having battled health problems in recent years. "It was up and down, with nerves".

"Every point is very important and I'm very happy I could do it today". I thank all who came for their support. "I think the pressure's on them, so it'll be a fun day".

Strycova, who was tearful during the national anthems, said: "It's amusing because it's her first tie and my last one". "I believe in all my players up here", she said. "The atmosphere was just incredible".

Alison Riske will be the second singles player on court tomorrow for the United States of America in the Fed Cup final as her country looks to win back-to-back competitions for the first time since the turn of the millennium.

"It was a long match, a lot of points, a lot of effort, long points", Kenin said. It's disappointing for me 'cause I had like two match points but couldn't turn things around.

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

With the Fed Cup crown on the line, Siniakova won an epic 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 marathon over Kenin to clinch the tie.

Riske grabbed three breaks from five chances but that wasn't enough at least for a set, having to play against seven break points and suffering four breaks. Siniakova hit 24 winners.

"It was frightful, the worst (moment)", Siniakova said about the match points she faced. "But it's not the end until the final match point is converted".

"It was obviously painful for me and I felt like it was just hard for me to move", Kenin said. 'A fighter'That is what happened - Siniakova took the game, earned a break and won the set 7-5.

On Saturday, Barbora Strycova rallied for a 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-4 victory over Kenin to put the Czechs 1-0 ahead and Siniakova doubled the advantage with a 6-3, 7-6 (2) win over Alison Riske.

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