Germany to play Czech Republic in Fed Cup final
Germany will take on the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup final after both countries wrapped up their semifinal victories by winning the first reverse singles on Sunday.
Germany’s Angelique Kerber overcame Sam Stosur in three sets and former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat Roberta Vinci 6-3, 7-5 as both countries took insurmountable 3-0 leads.
Kerber overcame a slow start to win 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 and give Germany its first Fed Cup final berth since 1992, when it beat Spain for the title. Germany ended up winning 3-1 after Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua of Australia beat Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-2, 6-7 (5), 10-2 in doubles. The fourth singles match wasn’t played.
Stosur opened the third set by double-faulting on break point, but broke back to level on the hard court at Pat Rafter Arena.
In the third game, which went to eight deuces, Stosur sent a forehand long to give Kerber the break and a 2-1 lead. Kerber was broken while serving for the match, but held serve two games later to close it out, clinching the semifinal with an ace.
“It’s a very special moment for me and the whole team,” Kerber said. “I played a good match but it was a tough one because Sam was playing also very tough and I have never beaten her before (in two previous matches).”
The Czechs won 4-0 after Andrea Hlavackova teamed up with Klara Koukalova to overcome Camila Giorgi and Karin Knapp 6-2, 5-7, 11-9 in doubles.
The Czechs will host Germany in the final in November, having won the previous three encounters between the countries.
“It will be great to play the final at home,” Kvitova said. “We have an excellent team, it’s not just about one player.”
It’s the third final for the Czechs in four years after they claimed the Fed Cup title in 2011 and ’12. They lost to Italy in last year’s semis.
Vinci replaced Sara Errani — who was originally named for the match — and had a 2-1 record against Kvitova after beating her twice last year on clay.
But on a fast indoor hard-court at the CEZ Arena, Kvitova sealed the victory on her second match point with an ace.
“It’s an advantage for me that I’ve improved my serve,” Kvitova said.