Tennis

Pliskova, Strycova take Czechs to Fed Cup semis

2017-02-12 18:20
Karolina Pliskova (Getty)

Prague - Karolina Pliskova and Barbora Strycova led defending champions the Czech Republic into the Fed Cup semi-finals after winning their rubbers on Sunday for an unbeatable 3-1 lead against Spain.

In a clash of the team's' number-one players, world number three Pliskova overcame seventh-ranked French Open champion Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-2 in an hour.

Then Strycova, ranked 17th, beat 70th-ranked Lara Arruabarrena 6-4, 6-4 in almost two hours.

Seeking a fourth straight Fed Cup title, and sixth from the last seven editions, the Czechs will face either Germany or the United States in the semi-finals on April 22-23.

The United States led 1-0 after Saturday's only rubber in a tie marred by rain and a blunder involving the performance of Germany's World War II anthem at the official start.

On the hardcourt in the eastern Czech steel hub of Ostrava, the fast-serving, aggressive 24-year-old Pliskova gave the struggling Muguruza no chance.

The 23-year-old Spaniard snatched a single break late in the second set, but that was all she had to offer while Pliskova broke her serve almost at will, leaning on solid returns.

"My fast play worked well today and... I think I served very well throughout the match," Pliskova told the public Czech TV after winning her fifth straight rubber against Muguruza.

"I guess this was one of the easiest matches we've played," she said.

The 30-year-old Strycova had more work to do against Arruabarrena.

They traded breaks halfway through the first set before Strycova broke once again and held on to her serve in a marathon 12-minute game eight to finally take the set 6-4.

"That game was crucial, I got a boost when I won it and then I played quite well and moved well too," said Strycova.

Almost flawless at the net, Strycova showed her dominance over the 24-year-old Spaniard in set two, stepping up her game for a 6-4 win.

On Saturday, Muguruza beat Strycova 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 before Pliskova levelled the tie after seeing off Arruabarrena 6-4, 7-5.

The Czechs missed two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, injured in a fight with a knife-wielding burglar last December.

"Of course we played each game for Petra, we miss her a lot, but we know she's strong and she'll be back with us," said Strycova.

Read more on:    fed cup  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.