Kvitova, Strycova win, Czechs lead Swiss 2-0 in Fed Cup

FILE - In this file photo dated Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic in action during the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy-2018 tennis tournament final match in St.Petersburg, Russia. Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will face Viktorija Golubic in the opening match as the Czech Republic plays Switzerland in the first round of the upcoming Fed Cup. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, FILE)

PRAGUE — Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Barbora Strycova won the opening singles matches on Saturday to give the Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead over Switzerland in the Fed Cup first round.

Kvitova put the Czechs ahead after she overcame a second-set scare to beat Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 1-6, 6-3. Strycova doubled the advantage with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Belinda Bencic to put the Czechs one win away from their 10th straight Fed Cup semifinals.

Strycova jumped 4-1 up in the second set before Bencic, the former top 10 player, fought back briefly to reduce the lead to 4-3.

Strycova served the match out on an indoor hard court at Prague's O2 Arena, winning with her first match point due to Bencic's 23rd unforced error.

"It was a solid game from me," Strycova said. "I'm grateful for the point, it's pretty important."

In the opening set, Stryova didn't waste time and broke Bencic in the opening game and again in the seventh.

Earlier, the 100th-ranked Golubic double-faulted to drop her serve in the eighth game of the final set, allowing the 21st-ranked Kvitova to serve out the match. The Czech converted her first match point with a backhand volley at the net.

Kvitova hit 32 winners on the way to victory compared to Golubic's 14.

"It was up and down," said Kvitova, who improved to 27-10 in Fed Cup singles. "I started well and she looked a bit nervous at first. But I struggled physically and also mentally in the second."

After winning the first set, Kvitova looked to be heading for an easy victory, breaking Golubic in the opening game of the second set. But she struggled with her serve, giving the Swiss a chance to come back with six straight games.

"I said to myself, I didn't want to be the next (Czech) to lose to her," Kvitova said. In the 2016 Fed Cup semifinals, Golubic won both her singles matches, beating Strycova and Karolina Pliskova, her only wins in the Fed Cup singles.

Kvitova has returned to Fed Cup action for the first time since recovering from injuries in a knife attack at her home in December 2016. She won in St. Petersburg, Russia, this month, beating two top-10 players.

The reverse singles and the doubles closer are scheduled for Sunday.

Must Read

Martins Dukurs takes European skeleton title with...

Dec 15, 2017

Latvian slider Martins Dukurs won the European skeleton title for a third straight year by earning...

Germans Friedrich, Schneider take European...

Dec 16, 2017

Germans Francesco Friedrich, Stephanie Schneider take European bobsled titles in Austria

Italian skier Marsaglia leads World Cup downhill...

Jan 18, 2018

Italian skier Marsaglia leads final training for World Cup downhill on shortened Streif course

Dressen wins downhill for 1st German victory in...

Jan 20, 2018

Thomas Dressen has won the classic World Cup downhill on the Streif for Germany's first victory in...

Belarus completes surprise win over Netherlands...

Feb 12, 2017

With or without Victoria Azarenka, Belarus can still succeed on the tennis court

People also read these

Overall champion Hirscher breaks ankle, out for 6...

Aug 17, 2017

Six-time overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher has broken his left ankle and will be in a cast...

Hirscher needs 15 weeks to recover, missing ski...

Aug 18, 2017

Marcel Hirscher will need up to 15 weeks to recover from a broken left ankle, ruling the six-time...

Germans Friedrich, Schneider take European...

Dec 16, 2017

Germans Francesco Friedrich, Stephanie Schneider take European bobsled titles in Austria

Women's World Cup ski races doubtful due to...

Jan 12, 2018

Women's World Cup ski races in Austria doubtful due to weakened course after rain, mild temperatures

Austrian ski family eyes another Olympic slalom...

Jan 22, 2018

First Mario, now Michael: 4 years after Sochi, Matt family eyes more Olympic slalom success in...

About Us

From transfer news, tactical analysis to predictions, get only the best of the world of sports daily with Daily Sports Club.

Contact us: sales@sportsclubcom.com

Subscribe Now!