Czechs lead against US in Fed Cup final

Barbora Strycova

The Czech Republic has been the dominant team in the Fed Cup in the last eight years or so, winning five of the last seven titles and looking good to add another one on Sunday after taking a 2-0 lead over the defending champions US in front of the packed O2 Arena in Prague!

Despite that late break that kept her in the match, Riske was unable to play on the same level in the tie break, losing three points on serve against the rival who stayed focused behind her initial shot to clinch the breaker 7-2 and send the Czech Republic 2-0 up before the second day on Sunday.

The Czech Republic kept its flawless record in the Fed Cup finals by capturing the trophy for the sixth time in eight years by defeating defending champion United States.

The inexperienced United States of America team are without Serena and Venus Williams as well as Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, while the hosts have Karolina Pliskova injured.

At the time of writing, Petra Kvitova was forced out of pre-event training and media commitments with a virus, and her absence would be a tough blow for a team already without world No8, Karolina Pliskova, who is out with a calf injury. "The worst", said an emotional Siniakova.

The clash will begin with Kenin taking on Barbora Strycova before Riske faces Katerina Siniakova. USA captain captain Kathy Rinaldi gave credit to the Czech players but said, "I really think we could have been up 2-0, too". Top of the pile is the U.S. with 18, next comes the Czech Republic with 10-five of them as Czechoslovakia.

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Riske, the only player on the U.S. team with Fed Cup experience, said all the pressure was on the hosts.

"I believe in all my players".

The Czechs are hoping for a sixth title in eight years. They have since won four more Fed Cups in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016. "I think I definitely do like the court a lot and any time that I'm indoors.

It was up and down, nerves", the 22-year-old Siniakova said on the court after the marathon match that was just short of the longest rubber - at four hours flat - in Fed Cup history. "I'm so honored to have been part of that match, they really fought hard, the points were incredible, it's just something I never forget".

· Home advantage: Three of the Czechs' last five titles have come at the O2 Arena in Prague, where this weekend's tie will be played.

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