Prague, Czech Republic (SportsNetwork.com) – Petra Kvitova rallied from a
third-set deficit to beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber, clinching a third Fed
Cup title for the Czech Republic in the last four years.
Kerber was primed to keep Germany alive in the best-of-five tie, up a break in
third set, but Kvitova erased a 1-4 deficit by winning the last five games of
the match to give the Czechs an insurmountable 3-0 advantage in the weekend
Kvitova blew a trio of match points before finally prevailing in a 7-6 (7-5),
4-6, 6-4 triumph. The two-time Wimbledon champ also beat Andrea Petkovic in
Saturday’s opening rubber and now owns a 23-6 singles mark in Fed Cup play.
The Czechs also won the title in 2011 and 2012, losing to Italy in last year’s
Germany was bidding for its first Fed Cup crown since 1992 and lost to the
Czechs for the third time in as many meetings over the past five years.
Kerber, who lost to Lucie Safarova in Saturday’s second singles rubber, held a
5-2 lead in the opening set Sunday, but Kvitova fought back with a pair of
breaks to even it at 5-5. Another Kerber break gave the German the chance to
serve for the set, but she couldn’t close it out and the tiebreaker eventually
went to the Czech with a forehand winner to close out a 76-minute first set.
Kvitova then had the upper hand in the second set, breaking twice for a 3-0
lead. Kerber, though, broke twice to even it, and another break gave the
German the set.
In the decisive third, it was again Kerber that opened a lead at 3-0. A
backhand winner in the second game gave the German a break and another
backhand pass made it 4-1, but it was all Kvitova from there.
After a Kvitova hold, a Kerber error in the next game gave the Czech the break
she needed and she hit three straight winners in the following game to even
the set at 4-4. A forehand winner put Kvitova ahead with another break and she
opened a 40-15 lead in the next game.
Kerber saved two straight match points, the first on a Kvitova double fault
and the second with a forehand winner. She then saved a third match point
before faltering on the fourth with a shot into the net, ending the marathon
just three minutes shy of three hours.
The fourth singles rubber, scheduled to feature Safarova and Petkovic, was not
played and the doubles match went on as scheduled, pitting the Czech tandem of
Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka against the German duo of Sabine Lisicki
and Julia Goerges.