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Czechs reach Fed Cup final after blanking Italy in semis

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The Canadian Press
4/20/2014 9:27:50 AM
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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic -- The Czech Republic has reached the Fed Cup final by defeating defending champion Italy after Petra Kvitova won the first reverse singles on Sunday.

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.

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.

In the other semifinals, Germany won 3-1 in Australia.

The Czechs beat Germany in their previous three encounters.

Petra Kvitova (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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