Karolina Pliskova and Barbora Strycova defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Vesnina in three sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the deciding doubles rubber to help hosts Czech Republic beat Russia in the final of Fed Cup at Prague's O2 Arena on Sunday.
With the doubles win, Czech Republic won the tie after both teams won two of the four singles matches to force a decider. This means that the Czechs successfully defended their last year’s Fed Cup title and won the event for the ninth time in history.
As the day began with both teams tied at 1-1, Maria Sharapova defeated Petra Kvitova in the third singles to give Russia a 2-1 lead and then Pliskova toppled Pavlyuchenkova to level the tie at 2-2 which took the final to a decider doubles match.
In the first set, Pliskova and Strycova drew the first blood as they broke Pavlyuchenkova and Vesnina in the second game but the Russians broke back straightaway and held their serve in the next game to level the score at 2-2.
Both teams held their serve in the next four games to take the score to 4-4. Pavlyuchenkova and Vesnina broke their Czech opponents in the ninth game and consolidated on that to win the opener 6-4. Pliskova and Strycova bounced back and made an ideal start in the second set, winning first three games to race to a 3-0 lead.
Pavlyuchenkova and Vesnina managed to hold their serve in the fourth game to reduce the deficit to 1-3 but the Czechs won two more consecutive games to extend their lead to 5-1. Pliskova and Strycova got two set points in the seventh game but their serve finally got broken after a marathon game.
Pavlyuchenkova and Vesnina tried to come back in the set by taking the next two games but then the Czech pair served out the second set 6-3. With the momentum on their side, Pliskova and Strycova broke the Russians in the very first game and held their following serve to go up 2-0.
The broke Pavlyuchenkova and Vesnina again in the seventh game and capitalized on that to capture the final set 6-2. This was Czech Republic’s fourth Fed Cup win in five years and their ninth overall. Only USA (17) has won Fed Cup more times than Czech Republic in history of the event. Sharapova led Russian team was bidding to win Fed Cup for the fifth time.
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