Czech Republic beats U.S. 3-0 in Fed Cup final

Team Czech Republic celebrate during the trophy ceremony. David W Cerny Reuters

Another mainstay on the Czech Fed Cup team in recent years, Lucie Safarova, announced on Saturday she will retire from tennis after the Australian Open because of health problems.

Six finals, six victories.

Katerina Siniakova beat Sofia Kenin in a marathon three-set battle on Sunday to lead the Czech Republic to a sixth Fed Cup title in eight years after defeating the United States in the final.

The Czechs claimed their 11th Fed Cup title, including five as part of Czechoslovakia.

With the Czechs an unassailable 3-0 up in the best-of-five final, the second reverse singles and the doubles were cancelled.

"It was an unbelievable match for me". "It was up and down, with nerves".

"I'm so happy that I could win today in front of such a crowd", Strycova said.

She came close but was denied two matchpoints by doubles expert Siniakova, who stepped into singles play with world number eight Karolina Pliskova out with injury and twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova sick.

usa captain Kathy Rinaldi said she was proud of her team despite the loss.

"We did not get the result that we wanted but nobody can say that we didn't leave it all out there", USA captain Kathy Rinaldi said. "But I fought my hardest and I did everything I could".

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The Czech completed the match hitting four aces and winning 56% of first serve points. "But I fought my hardest and I did everything I could".

But she was also less measured and controlled, as she registered 76 unforced errors throughout the match. Kenin had 42 winners to 24 and looked more aggressive off both sides as her 23 forehand winners to 12 and her 19 backhand ones to 12 demonstrated. Siniakova tussled to save two match points and was emotional after her match. "But it's not the end until the final match point is converted". The treatment was then repeated several times. "I just felt that I was playing for them and not just for me so they really helped".

Siniakova broke Riske for 6-5 in the second set but the 63rd -ranked American forced a tiebreaker.

The the most successful country in the worldwide team competition and won its 18th Fed Cup title a year ago with Rinaldi in her first season as the captain.

Riske is the only player on the USA team who has previously played in the Fed Cup. They are the first players to make their Fed Cup debuts in the Final since Russian Federation nominated Alexandra Panova, Irina Khromacheva and Margarita Gasparyan in the 2013 Final in Italy.

Siniakova was the highest ranked at No. 31.

The Czechs are weakened, too, missing their two top-10 players.

International Tennis Federation President David Haggerty said in Prague the ITF would like to have more top players in the competition in general.

"One of the concepts is to do something similar to what we've done with the Davis Cup".

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