Tue, Apr 22, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Petra Kvitova steers Czech Republic to final

AFP, PARIS

Petra Kvitova, the world No. 6 and a former Wimbledon champion, saw off 20th-ranked Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-3, 7-5 in an hour and a half to hand the Czech Republic an unassailable 3-0 lead in their Fed Cup semi-final in Ostrava on Sunday and a berth in the final against Germany.

Klara Koukalova and Andrea Hlavackova then earned the fourth point for the hosts after beating Camila Giorgi and Karin Knapp 6-2, 5-7, 11-9 in the dead doubles rubber.

“I’m happy we’ve made it, and it will be a pleasure for the whole country to host the final again,” said Kvitova, praising her fellow players as “a superb team.”

In the World Group playoffs, where the winners will play in the elite section next year, Russia, playing without Maria Sharapova, beat Argentina 4-0 in Winter Olympics host city Sochi.

In Barcelona, world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska collected three points over the weekend as Poland edged Spain 3-2.

Radwanska won both her singles and then teamed up with Alicia Rosolska to beat Anabel Medina-Garrigues and Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-4, 6-2 in the deciding doubles.

Canada are headed to the elite World Group for the first time after a 3-1 victory over Slovakia in Quebec.

The hosts took a 2-0 lead with two singles victories on Saturday and Eugenie Bouchard earned the winning third point with a 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 win over Jana Cepelova in Sunday’s first match. Slovakia won the meaningless doubles rubber.

In St Louis, Missouri, France edged 17-time champions the US 3-2, with Caroline Garcia and Virginie Razzano teaming up to claim the decisive point in the final rubber with a 6-2, 7-5 doubles win over Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys.

On Saturday, they split their singles matches, Stephens easing past Razzano 6-2, 6-4, before Garcia defeated Keys 6-4, 6-3 to knot the tie at 2-2 and set the stage for the decisive doubles.

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