Petra Kvitova sends Czech Republic into Fed Cup tennis semifinals

Petra Kvitova defeated Belinda Bencic as the Czech Republic beat Switzerland 3-1 to advance to its 10th straight Fed Cup tennis semifinals on Sunday.

tennis Updated: Feb 12, 2018 09:50 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Paris
Petra Kvitova,Fed Cup,Czech Republic
Petra Kvitova celebrates with Czech captain Petr Pala after reaching the Fed Cup tennis semifinals.(AFP)

Petra Kvitova led the Czech Republic into a 10th successive Fed Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova, playing in her first Fed Cup tie since she was attacked by a knife-wielding burglar at her home in December 2016, eased past Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-4 to give the Czechs an unassailable 3-0 lead over Switzerland in Prague.

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Kvitova, 27, had already won her opening singles on Saturday, beating Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.

“I’m very happy, I was very calm, relaxed throughout the match. I played a great match, I didn’t lose my serve once,” said Kvitova who announced her return to form with the St Petersburg WTA title last weekend.

The Czechs, who have won the Fed Cup 10 times, will travel to Germany for the semi-finals in April.

Germany downed 2017 runners-up Belarus in Minsk 3-2 after Tatjana Maria and Anna-Lena Groenefeld won a tight deciding doubles against Aryna Sabalenka and Lidziya Marozava 6-7 (4/7), 7-5, 6-4.

Earlier, Maria downed Vera Lapko 6-4, 5-7, 6-0 and Sabalenka beat Antonia Lottner 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 to make the score 2-2.

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Czech captain Petr Pala expects Germany to call up former world number one and two-time major winner Angelique Kerber as well as Julia Georges -- both top 10 players -- for the semi-final.

“They have a strong calibre, because Angie (Kerber) has been playing excellent tennis this year and (Julia) Goerges played great in the second half of last year and she started well this year too,” said Pala.

“The German team is terribly strong, so we need a strong team too to play against them, but with the team we have here, we can beat anyone.”

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 09:36 IST