Kvitova win clinches Czechs' spot in Fed Cup final
Updated: 2012-04-22 20:52
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic - Petra Kvitova put defending champions the Czech Republic into the Fed Cup final with a 6-4 7-6 win over Italy's Francesca Schiavone on Sunday.
Kvitova's 10th consecutive win in the team competition put the Czechs 3-0 to the good and clinched a final against either Russia or Serbia.
Schiavone, who had been suffering a neck injury during the weekend, showed plenty of grit and looked set to push the world number three to a deciding set.
However, Kvitova came back from 2-4 down in the second set to force a tiebreak against the world number 12 and then cruised through the breaker 7-1.
Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova, Lucie Safarova, Petra Kvitova and Lucie Hradecka celebrate the team's victory over Italy in the semi-final match at the Fed Cup World Group tennis tournament in Ostrava, April 22, 2012.[Photo/Agencies]
"The weight was rather on my back today. I'm happy with how I handled it and getting a 10th straight victory," Kvitova said.
Playing at home for the first time in two years, the Czechs never allowed Italy a glimmer of hope as they won all the singles matches in straight sets.
Italy had won the last four meetings between the nations, but with Kvitova in such good form for her country they are now poised retain the trophy they won by beating Russia in last year's final which was their first success since winning it as Czechoslovakia in 1988.
Italy's Francesca Schiavone reacts during her semi-final singles match against Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova at the Fed Cup World Group tennis tournament in Ostrava, April 22, 2012.[Photo/Agencies]