Kvitova and Pliskova put Czechs in control

By Alex Fisher 22 April 2018 67
Kvitova and Pliskova put Czechs in control

Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova both recorded singles victories as Czech Republic finished day one of their Fed Cup semi-final with Germany 2-0 ahead.

Both Czech players recorded straight-set victories on the indoor clay surface, and the 10-time champions know one more point will see them progress to the final.

Defending champions United States are level with France in the other tie, Kristina Mladenovic making it 1-1 after Sloane Stephens had overcome Pauline Parmentier in a see-saw opening battle.

Meanwhile, there were a host of big names involved in the play-offs further down the competition.

Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Jelena Ostapenko all came through without any problems, but only the latter claimed a straight-sets victory.

 

PETRA LEADS THE WAY

Kvitova found herself 3-1 down in the opening set with Julia Goerges, but the world number 10 rattled off five in-a-row to move ahead in the match.

She did not look back from there as she completed a 6-3 6-2 victory, the second set taking just 28 minutes.

Pliskova followed suit against former world number one Angelique Kerber as the Czechs – who have won five of the last six editions of the competition – took control ahead of the doubles on Sunday.

HONOURS EVEN IN FRANCE

Stephens beat Parmentier 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 but it was a tough opener for the holders in front of a raucous home crowd that included former world No 1 Amelie Mauresmo.

Parmentier raced out to a 5-2 lead in the opener but failed to take five set-point opportunities, allowing her opponent to rally before taking the lead courtesy of a tie-break.

Stephens was pushed hard in the second set too, fighting back from a break down to clinch victory with a crunching forehand winner in the 12th game.

However, team-mate Coco Vandeweghe blew a one-set lead against Mladenovic, who snapped her opponent's 13-rubber winning streak in the competition with an impressive 1-6 6-3 6-2 triumph.

 

HALEP SURVIVES SCARE

The pressure was on world number one Simona Halep as she opened up for Romania, and she survived a scare to ease past Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic 6-3 1-6 6-1.

Halep was broken in the first game of the match and lost five in a row in the second set, but she dug deep to give Romania a 1-0 advantage, with Irina-Camelia Begu putting them in the driving seat for a World Group place next year with victory over Timea Bacsinszky.

In the World Group II play-offs, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko beat Ekaterina Makarova as Latvia finished day one against Russia 1-1, while Spain – led by Garbine Muguruza – hold a 2-0 lead over Paraguay.

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Alex Fisher

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