The Fed Cup is arguably the most important competition of late November at least when it comes to women’s tennis. The Czech Republic and Russia made it all the way to the finals and the decisive five games were scheduled to take place in Prague.
Bookmakers were slightly favoring the hosts, mostly due to the fact that the Czech Republic has a better doubles team. Things took an interesting turn after the first two days, because the host decided to use Pliskova and Strykova, with the former replacing Safarova.
What’s even more surprising is that the world number eight player didn’t even compete in the singles competitions and spent the entire time on the bench cheering for her teammates.With her out of the picture, the home side had to rely on Pliskova and Kvitova early on and the two of them did their very best but won just two of the four fixtures.
Pliskova lost the opening of these Sharapova and her better placed country-woman suffered a defeat against the same players the very next day. The world number three did everything in her power to propel Russia to victory, but unfortunately her efforts were not enough and it all came down to the doubles fixture.
Pavlyucenkova and Vesnina stepped up and played brilliant tennis in the opening set, one that they won by 6-4. They were slightly favorite at the beginning of the match and bookmakers chose to increase their odds even further after triumphing early on. The Czech duo found the resources to fight back and won the second set with relative ease, setting the stage for an impressive deciding set.
Unlike other doubles competition, the Fed cup doesn’t require players to compete in a super tiebreak even they split the first two sets. Instead they played on a regular match and almost an hour later, it was the Czech Republic that emerged victorious.
The support of their fans proved to be decisive and despite the fact that their players were frequently trailing behind the Russians, they never gave up. The next games the team will be playing are scheduled for early February, when they travel to Romania.