Fed Cup finalists take on hockey

The Czech Republic took a 2-0 lead on home soil in the Fed Cup final against defending champions United States. On Saturday, Barbora Strycova, the world number 33, came from a set down against Kenin to win 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-4 in the Czech's last Fed Cup rubber before retirement.

The Czechs won the Fed Cup in five of the previous seven years, and Kvitova contributed to each one to sit fourth among women with the most Fed Cup trophies.

The Czechs are one win away from their sixth title in eight years.

Americans Serena and Venus Williams, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens were all unavailable while, for the Czechs, world number eight Karolina Pliskova pulled out with injury and Petra Kvitova was sidelined on the first day with illness. "I was just enjoying the moment and trying to play my game", Siniakova said.

In the second match, Siniakova cruised in the first set but fell behind in the second before pulling level at 3-3.

In doubles, the final match of the best-of-five series, Riske and Danielle Collins will play for the United States against the No. 1 doubles pair of Barbora Krejcikova and Siniakova.

"We can only be aggressive and go after it tomorrow", Riske said.

The USA can take comfort in their record against their opponents, having not lost to the Czechs in eight meetings dating back to 1985, while they are on a seven-match winning streak after beating Belarus in the final past year. The American number one for the tie despite still seeking her maiden WTA singles title, Kenin regained composure in time to win the next four games before taking the set 7-5 as Siniakova visibly struggled with her nerves.

The US have dominated the Czechs in Fed Cup play and hold a 10-2 record against their final opponents.

"It's amusing because it's her (Kenin) first one, and this is my last one, so for me it was a lot of emotions".

But the 32-year-old Strycova called on all her experience, bringing the home crowd back into the match by racing ahead 3-0 in the second set and securing the set four games later with a big serve that Kenin returned high and long.

Strycova, who was tearful during the national anthems, said: "It's amusing because it's her first tie and my last one".


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