The formidable Czech Republic team – spearheaded by reigning Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova – got off to a perfect 2-0 start on the opening day of the Fed Cup final, and find themselves one win away from a third title in four years.
“I couldn’t have asked for more,” said Czech Republic captain Petr Pala. “Straight sets twice, great performance, I am very happy about the way the girls played. I think they were better on the court and they really went for it.
“We still have one more point to put under our belt and it’s always the hardest one. It’s never easy to win the last match. Germany are a very strong team, many great players in the team so we have to be ready for tomorrow.”
Czech No. 1 Petra Kvitova opened up the proceedings with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Andrea Petkovic to level the head-to-head series against the German to 4-4. She was followed by Lucie Safarova, who defeated Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4 to secure the second point in the tie.
Kvitova, who admit to nerves ahead of the final, was ecstatic with the Day 1 results.
“It was a very tough match,” said Kvitova. “I was so nervous, I really couldn’t breathe too much. From the beginning I was so tight but I felt Andrea was the same way.
“From yesterday I felt a tight stomach and I couldn’t really eat. It was so weird. It’s very difficult to just relax a little bit. I am just glad how i played today. With these nerves it is really difficult to play my best tennis.”
Safarova also produced a commanding performance in her victory against Kerber, as she came back from a break down in the second set to defeat the German No. 1.
“I am really happy because it was a great match,” said world No. 17 Safarova. “To beat a top-10 player here at home and especially leading 2-1 up on the first day is amazing. The crowd were very important because every time I was down they were still cheering and pushing me forward.”