Czech Republic beats Italy in Fed Cup semis
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic (AP)
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova used her powerful serve and forehand to clinch victory for Czech Republic over Italy in the Fed Cup semifinals Sunday.
The third-ranked Kvitova beat Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 (1) to give the Czechs an insurmountable 3-0 lead and wrap up the best-of-five series on an indoor hardcourt at the CEZ Arena.
The defending champion Czechs will host Serbia in November's final.
''I really wanted to be in the final again,'' Kvitova said. ''It's unbelievable. It was an unbelievable feeling (to win).''
The Czechs beat Russia in last year's final with Kvitova winning both her singles matches.
Sara Errani defeated Andrea Hlavackova 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the second reverse singles later Sunday for Italy's first point, before Hlavackova teamed up with Lucie Hradecka to make it 4-1 after the final doubles against Errani and Flavia Pennetta. Pennetta had to retire at 5-6 because of a wrist injury.
Kvitova converted her second match point with a forehand winner to improve her Fed Cup singles record to 15-4. She has won her last 10 Fed Cup singles matches.
''It was important for me to win; it's a confidence boost,'' said Kvitova, who has played only three matches - and lost two - on the WTA Tour since she helped the Czechs beat Germany 4-1 in February.
In Saturday's opening singles, Lucie Safarova defeated Schiavone 7-6 (3), 6-1 before Kvitova beat Errani 6-4, 6-3.
Serbia completed a victory over Russia in the other semifinal Sunday.