Strycova beats Cornet to send Fed Cup final into decider
STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - Barbora Strycova beat Alize Cornet 6-2 7-6(4) to put defending champions Czech Republic level at 2-2 against hosts France and send the Fed Cup final into a doubles decider on Sunday.
Strycova raced through the opening set and rallied from 4-1 down in the second to keep alive her team's hopes of claiming a fifth title in six years.
Earlier, Caroline Garcia had put France ahead with an impressive 6-3 3-6 6-3 victory over world number six Karolina Pliskova.
The world number 23 had already earned Amelie Mauresmo's team the first point against double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova before Pliskova leveled with an epic win against Kristina Mladenovic on Saturday.
Kvitova and Mladenovic were due to play the second reverse singles but they were replaced by Strycova and Cornet.
Mladenovic and Garcia, the best doubles pair in the world, will team up against Strycova and Pliskova.
World number 20 Strycova was the first to hold serve, for 3-1, and she did not look back in the opening set as Cornet struggled to find her pace.
The Frenchwoman, ranked 46th, took advantage of a double fault to break for 2-0 in the second. She went 4-1 up but Strycova refused to buckle and won four games in a row to serve for the match.
Cornet broke back but her opponent played well in the tiebreak. Continued...