Czech Republic hosted Australia at the CEZ Arena in Ostrava in the Federation Cup World Group first round on Saturday and Sunday. The Czech team comprised world number 8 Petra Kvitova and number 18 Lucie Safarova in singles; and number 3 ranked Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova in the doubles. The Aussies had Sam Stosur ranked at number 9, Casey Dellacqua at 128, Jarmila Gajdosova at 168 and their rookie, sixteen year old Ashley Barty, ranked at 180. Dellacqua and Barty were to play doubles. End result: 4-0 to the Czechs.
First to play were Kvitova and Gajdosova and, after a tight first set which went to a breaker which Kvitova won, she also took the second set 6-3 for the Czechs to lead 1-0. Safarova then took on Stosur and in a nail biter which went to two tie breakers, the Czech led her team to a 2-0 lead.
The third rubber was between Kvitova and Stosur and things looked up for the Aussies when Stosur took the first set 6-2 in less than half an hour. The Aussie then led 5-4 and match point in the second set after five breaks of serve before home advantage and great fan support urged Kvitova to a final break back and take the match to a breaker, which she won 7-3 to force a decider. It all seemed over for Stosur when Kvitova raced into a 5-0 lead, but there was yet another twist in the tail, as Stosur recovered the two breaks to come back to 4-5. However, the Czech player managed to take her opponent’s serve yet again to capture the match – thus taking them to their fifth consecutive semi final appearance in the Fed Cup.
In the last match of the tie, Hlavackova/Hradecka secured the Czech team their fourth point after defeating Barty/Dellacqua 6-0 7-6 (1).
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