Czech team leads 2-0 in tennis Fed Cup final against USA

Barbora Strycova

Katerina Siniakova, the world number 31, will face 63rd-ranked Alison Riske in Saturday's second singles rubber. She and Riske battled back and forth then and the American pushed the set to a tiebreak, where Siniakova took control.

The USA can take comfort in their record against their opponents, having not lost to the Czechs in eight meetings dating back to 1985, while they are on a seven-match winning streak after beating Belarus in the final past year.

Strycova, playing in the last Fed Cup tie, went a set down in Prague to Kenin but won 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-4. "It will definitely be easier to put the team together when we're 2-0 up", said Czech captain Petr Pala.

Twice Wimbledon champion Kvitova, whose training has been limited this week due to a high temperature, could still play on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Katerina Siniakova has completed a ideal day for the Czech team, beating Alison Riske 6-3 7-6 in an hour and 38 minutes for her second Fed Cup win over the Americans after toppling Shelby Rogers a year ago in the semi-final. "I think the pressure's on them, so it'll be a fun day". "I feel pretty at home", she added.

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"Actually, after the first point I was thinking, you know, you've played so many tie-breaks this year and you won nearly all".

To win, the 18-time champion USA would have to become the first team to come back from 2-0 down in the final.

"It was an unbelievable match for me".

"Anything can happen in Fed Cup and tomorrow is another day", she said. The US are missing Sloane Stephens, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Madison Keys, while the Czechs are without Karolina Pliskova. "When I was down, I was still fighting out there", said Kenin, who broke the top 100 in 2018 and ended the year ranked 48th. Kenin reeled off four games in a row to move in front and had two match points in the 10th game, though she failed to convert either.

In doubles, the final match of the best-of-five series, Riske and Danielle Collins will play for the United States against the No. 1 doubles pair of Barbora Krejcikova and Siniakova.

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