Tennis

Czech Republic clinches Fed Cup win

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic (AP)

Petra Kvitova saved a match point before clinching victory for defending champion Czech Republic over Australia in the Fed Cup first round series on Sunday.

Kvitova rallied to overcome Samantha Stosur 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 in a matchup of top-10 players to give the Czechs an insurmountable 3-0 lead on an indoor hardcourt at the CEZ Arena.

''It was a very good game,'' Kvitova said. ''One of my best of the season. I am really satisfied.''

On Saturday, the eighth-ranked Kvitova, who has won just three of her seven matches this year on the WTA tour, beat Jarmila Gajdosova 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the opening singles.

The Czechs will face Italy or the United States in the semifinals in April.

Kvitova converted her first match point with one of her 39 winners.

But she also double-faulted 10 times and produced 38 unforced errors.

Stosur wasted a match point at 5-4 in the second set, allowing the Czech to come back.

Kvitova took the second set with a forehand winner and jumped to a commanding 5-0 lead in the final set before Stosur fought back, breaking the Czech twice.

''I didn't want the fans to get bored,'' Kvitova said with a smile.

At first, No. 9-ranked Australian seemed to recover from Saturday's upset 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) loss to Lucie Safarova, jumping to a 5-2 lead in the first set before breaking Kvitova for the second time to take the set.

In the doubles, Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka teamed up for the Czechs to beat Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua 6-0, 7-6 (1) to make it 4-0.

The second reverse singles between Safarova and Gajdosova was canceled, according to Fed Cup rules.

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