Safarova leads Czechs to Fed Cup glory

Sun Nov 4, 2012 10:55am EST
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By Jan Lopatka

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Republic reclaimed the Fed Cup after Lucie Safarova thumped Serbia's Jelena Jankovic to give the home team an unbeatable 3-1 lead.

Left-hander Safarova, the word number 17, broke Jankovic's opening serve before winning 6-1 6-1 in front of a 14,000 capacity crowd at Prague's O2 Arena. She had won only one of their previous six encounters.

"It is impossible to describe how great this feeling is, because it is at home," Safarova said.

"I played unbelievably well. This was one of those days when everything you touch works out well. I really wanted to win and I am very happy."

"Jelena is a great player but I was very focused and solid, it was one of my best of my best five games."

Safarova's form contrasted with her two losses in last year's final against Russia and compensated for Petra Kvitova, who had stumbled in her return singles earlier on Sunday.

Kvitova lost 6-3 7-5 to Ana Ivanovic who kept alive Serbia's hopes of winning their debut Fed Cup.

World number eight Kvitova had been expected to hand the Czechs an unbeatable 3-0 lead but former French Open winner Ivanovic produced an inspired display.   Continued...

Czech Republic's team members (L-R) Andrea Hlavackova, Lucie Hradecka, Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova celebrate with the trophy after winning their final match of the Fed Cup tennis tournament against Serbia in Prague November 4, 2012. REUTERS/David W Cerny