Czech Republic, Germany to play in Fed Cup tennis final
The Czech Republic reached the Fed Cup final by defeating defending champion Italy after Petra Kvitova won the first reverse singles on Sunday on home turf in Ostrava.
Sixth-ranked Kvitova beat Roberta Vinci 6-3, 7-5 for an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the semifinals. The remaining doubles can't change the overall result.
The Czechs face Germany in the final in November at home.
"It will be great to play the final at home," Kvitova said. "We have an excellent team, it's not just about one player."
It's the third final for the Czechs in four years after they claimed the Fed Cup title in 2011 and '12 and won nine of the last 10 Fed Cup ties, losing only to Italy in last year's semis.
Vinci replaced Sara Errani — who was originally named for the match — and had a 2-1 record against Kvitova after beating her twice last year on clay.
But on a fast indoor hard-court at the CEZ Arena, Kvitova sealed the victory on her second match point with an ace.
"It's an advantage for me that I've improved my serve," Kvitova said.
Vinci came back twice in the second set after losing her serve in the first and seventh games before the Czech converted her fourth break point to go 6-5 up before serving out the match.
At 3-3 in the opening set, Kvitova saved six break points before winning the game with two straight aces. She converted her first break point in the following game when the 20th-ranked Vinci double-faulted twice in a row and served the set out with another ace.
Kerber defeats Stosur
On Saturday, the Czechs took a commanding 2-0 lead in the series after Lucie Safarova upset Errani 6-4, 6-1, and Kvitova followed up with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Camila Giorgi.
Germany sealed its place in the Fed Cup final by beating Australia, with Angelique Kerber clinching the victory with a three-set win over Sam Stosur in Brisbane.
Kerber overcame a slow start to win 4-6, 6-0, 6-4, giving Germany an unbeatable 3-0 lead and its first Fed Cup final berth since 1992, when it beat Spain for the title.
Stosur opened the third set by double-faulting on break point, but broke back to level on hard courts at Pat Rafter Arena.
In the third game which went to eight deuces, Stosur's forehand error long gave Kerber the break and a 2-1 lead. Kerber was broken while serving for the match, but held serve two games later to close it out, clinching the semifinal with an ace.
A later reverse singles match between Casey Dellacqua and Andrea Petkovic was not played.
Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty, who advanced to three Grand Slam doubles finals last year, beat Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-2, 6-7 (5) and 10-2 in the deciding pro set to make the final scoreline 3-1.
On Saturday, Petkovic and Kerber had straight-set wins — Petkovic opened with a 6-1, 7-6 (7) win over Stosur while Kerber defeated Dellacqua 6-1, 6-0.
Two years ago, Australia upset Germany 3-2 in Stuttgart in a World Group encounter in which Stosur won both her singles matches.
It was Australia's first semifinal appearance since 1993. Australia has not won the Fed Cup since 1974 when seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Evonne Goolagong led Australia to victory.