Safarova leads Czechs to Fed Cup glory

PRAGUE Sun Nov 4, 2012 8:49pm IST

Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova reacts after defeating Serbia's Jelena Jankovic during their final match of the Fed Cup tennis tournament in Prague November 4, 2012. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova reacts after defeating Serbia's Jelena Jankovic during their final match of the Fed Cup tennis tournament in Prague November 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/David W Cerny

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Republic reclaimed the Fed Cup after Lucie Safarova thumped Serbia's Jelena Jankovic to give the home team an unbeatable 3-1 lead.

Left-hander Safarova, the word number 17, broke Jankovic's opening serve before winning 6-1 6-1 in front of a 14,000 capacity crowd at Prague's O2 Arena. She had won only one of their previous six encounters.

"It is impossible to describe how great this feeling is, because it is at home," Safarova said.

"I played unbelievably well. This was one of those days when everything you touch works out well. I really wanted to win and I am very happy."

"Jelena is a great player but I was very focused and solid, it was one of my best matches...one of my best five games."

Safarova's form contrasted with her two losses in last year's final against Russia and compensated for Petra Kvitova, who had stumbled in her return singles earlier on Sunday.

Kvitova lost 6-3 7-5 to Ana Ivanovic who kept alive Serbia's hopes of winning their debut Fed Cup.

World number eight Kvitova had been expected to hand the Czechs an unbeatable 3-0 lead but former French Open winner Ivanovic produced an inspired display.

The 24-year old Serb took the first point for Serbia with a forehand winner on her third match point.

"I knew today I would be playing better and I started swinging from the beginning and worked well for me. (Kvitova) started swinging again (in the second set), getting few winners down the lines, but I managed to stay calm," she said.

Kvitova said she had felt healthy after but lacked power.

"I did not have a lot of energy. At the beginning I was being much too hectic, I wanted to take the final point in this tie," she said.

"Ana played very well, aggressively, I only could play a few shots in rallies, that is why I made errors and she took the winners."

The Fed Cup title is the Czechs seventh overall including the former Czechoslovakia The Czechs are hoping to complete a double when the men's team take on Spain in the Davis Cup final later this month.

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka, editing by John Mehaffey)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Tennis

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Injury Woes

Injury Woes

Barca's Neymar and Alba out for up to a month.  Full Article 

Wage Issue

Wage Issue

Formula One drivers in talks to resolve pay disputes.  Full Article 

Title Hopes

Title Hopes

Battered Barca in La Liga last-chance saloon.  Full Article 

NBA Preview

NBA Preview

Heat playoff run could decide James' future in Miami.  Full Article 

Serie A Title

Serie A Title

Juventus count down to title and securing Conte.  Full Article 

League Leaders

League Leaders

Liverpool fans need to stay calm for run-in, says Suarez.  Full Article 

World Cup Worries

World Cup Worries

Workers at Olympic venue end strike but issue pay talks warning.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage