The Czech tennis players have become the new Fed Cup champions after beating Russia 3-2 in the thrilling finals in Moscow.
The score in the final was 1-1 heading into the Sunday games and it was the team’s leaders, Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova and Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, who kicked off the day’s action.
The players swapped sets, and Kuznetsova seemed to be heading for a win after grabbing a 3-0 lead in the third set.
But the Russian was helpless against Kvitova’s comeback as the World No.2 snatched a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory to collect her second of two wins in Moscow.
Lucie Safarova had a great chance to bring the Czech Republic the title, but it seemed the 24-year-couldn’t quite cope with the pressure.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat her rival in straight sets 6-2, 6-4 to level the tie at 2-all and send it into the deciding pairs match.
Russia’s Maria Kirilenko and Elena Vesnina teamed up to face to Lucie Hradecka and Kveta Peschke in Game 5, but even the passionate home crowd support couldn’t help them deal with the Czech doubles specialists.
Pairs Grand Slam winners, Hradecka and Peschke, needed two sets to prove their class 6-4, 6-2 and make the Czech Republic the Federations Cup champions of 2011.
“I’m glad that we won it, and it’s a great feeling,” Petr Pala, Czech captain, told Fed Cup’s official website. “We really want to enjoy it today. I think all the girls and myself and the whole team, you know, it’s an unbelievable feeling.”
Success in Moscow heralds the maiden Fed Cup win for the Czech team in its current incarnation, but they have bagged five trophies (1975, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988) back in the times of Czechoslovakia.