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Katerina Siniakova secures Czech Republic Fed Cup title over United States

Czech Republic celebrate winning the 2018 Fed Cup
Image: Czech Republic celebrate winning the 2018 Fed Cup

Czech Republic have won their sixth Fed Cup title in eight years after Katerina Siniakova defeated Sofia Kenin in a marathon encounter to complete victory against defending champions the United States on Sunday.

Siniakova, who beat Alison Riske in Saturday's singles rubber, saved two match points in an eventful deciding third set to defeat 19-year-old Kenin 7-5 5-7 7-5 in three hours and 45 minutes at the O2 Arena in Prague.

The victory gave the hosts an unassailable 3-0 lead against a US side missing Sloane Stephens, the Williams sisters and Madison Keys and means they have now won the title 11 times - five of which came as the former Czechoslovakia.

Katerina Siniakova
Image: Katerina Siniakova sealed the hosts' victory after a marathon encounter against Sofia Kenin

"It was an unbelievable match for me. It was up and down, lots of nerves," Siniakova said after the match which was just short of the longest rubber - at four hours flat - in Fed Cup history.

"I am just terribly happy I won. I couldn't imagine they [home support] could be so loud!"

"In the end it was amazing. I just felt that I was playing for them and not just for me so they really helped."

Siniakova has won the French Open and Wimbledon doubles titles this season but demonstrated her ability in singles this weekend, after the hosts had lost Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova just before the final through illness and injury respectively.

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Both players started nervously as Kenin made 23 unforced errors as Siniakova's fourth break of serve enabled her to take the first set 7-5 against her Russian-born opponent.

Despite falling 3-0 down in the second set Kenin, yet to win a WTA title, recovered to force a decider as she won three games on the bounce to win it 7-5.

Sofia Kenin was making her Fed Cup debut in the final
Image: Kenin was making her Fed Cup debut in the final

One again Kenin fell a break behind in the third set but after undergoing treatment on her left thigh came back to lead 5-4 before earning two match points.

Siniakova, world No 31, secured the vital break before her ninth break of the match saw her seal victory in front of a vocal home support, with the second reverse singles and doubles cancelled.

USA Fed Cup
Image: The United States team fielded three Fed Cup newcomers

On Saturday, Barbora Strycova, playing in her final event before retirement, came from a set down to defeat Kenin 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-4 before Siniakova overcame Riske 6-3 7-6 (7-2).

The showpiece had seen the competitions two most successful nations meeting in a final for the first time in more than three decades.

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