Tennis

Czech Republic's Kvitova rallies to cut Italy's Fed Cup lead

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Associated Press
4/21/2013 1:21:06 PM
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The Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova rallied to beat seventh-ranked Sara Errani 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 Sunday after a five-hour rain delay and cut Italy's lead to 2-1 in the Fed Cup semifinals.

The eighth-ranked Kvitova won the final 11 games of the rainy match, overwhelming Errani with her attacking game.

Kvitova, who has led the Czechs to the Fed Cup title the past two years, held a 26-6 edge in winners.

The final two matches in the best-of-five series will be played Monday on the red clay at the Palermo tennis club.

First up will be Italy's Roberta Vinci against Lucie Safarova, followed by Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone against Czech duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.

However, if it goes down to the doubles, Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti also has the option of playing Errani and Vinci, the top-ranked pairing on the WTA Tour. Errani and Vinci are the reigning Australian, French and U.S. Open champions.

"Kvitova played a great match," Barazzutti said. "She improved and started to commit very few errors. Sara wasn't able to handle Kvitova's pressure. But we've got another (singles) match tomorrow."

On Saturday, Errani beat Safarova and Vinci defeated Kvitova, both in straight sets.

It's the fifth straight semifinal for Italy, which won the title in 2006, 2009 and 2010.

The Czechs beat Italy at this stage last year.

In past meetings, Italy and the Czechs are tied 4-4.

Russia was hosting Slovakia in the other semifinal.

Petra Kvitova (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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