Czechs take 2-0 lead
Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova breezed past their Serbian rivals to give holders Czech Republic a 2-0 lead in the Fed Cup final yesterday.
Safarova, the world number 17, first beat 12-ranked Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 41 minutes.
And Kvitova, ranked eighth, then cruised past 22-ranked Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 6-1 in just an hour and 20 minutes to make it 2-0 for the hosts after day one.
On the hardcourt of Prague's O2 Arena, the Czechs now need to win only one of today’s three rubbers to lift the trophy for a second straight year.
Ivanovic, a former world number one, never found the pace to match Safarova, making 32 unforced errors against Safarova’s 18.
Serbian number one Ivanovic was broken twice in both sets, letting Safarova improve her head-to-head winning streak to four victories.
“We both started very nervous, luckily I was the first one who improved and got the first set, which was very important,” Safarova said.
“Then I even upgraded my game, I was pushing her, going through her backhand ...(and) using the leftie rotation to her backhand, which was very effective,” she added.
In the second rubber, Kvitova had to cope with the effects of a cold that had forced her to pull out of the WTA Championship last week.
“I didn’t know what I could expect from myself on the court from the beginning,” she said. “And at the end, I really wanted the match to be over,' added Kvitova, who dominated the game, relying on a first serve that Jankovic could not resist.