MOSCOW, RUSSIA: Czech Republic have won the Fed Cup title with victory in the decisive doubles rubber.
The visitors overcame Russia 3-2 in a gripping finale after doubles specialists Lucie Hradecka and Kveta Peschke proved too good for Russia's Maria Kirilenko and Elena Vesnina.
The Czech pair needed four match points to close out their first Fed Cup victory since 1988 and their first as an independent nation, winning the doubles rubber 64 62 to send their travelling contingent of fans delirious in the Olympic Stadium.
The win was set up earlier in the day when Petra Kvitova battled past Svetlana Kuznetsova 46 62 63 in what was the rubber of the weekend. Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova had kept home hopes alive by defeating Lucie Safarova in the fourth rubber but it was too little too late.
As it happened...
CZECH REPUBLIC WIN THE FED CUP 3-2!
Kirilenko/Vesnina* 4-6 2-6 Hradecka/Peschke
Serving at 15-30 down, Vesnina holds her nerve to take it to 30-30 but she then puts the ball long to hand match point to the Czechs. Kirilenko finds a way past Peschke to take it to deuce then Vesnina nets again to give the Czechs another match point, which Hradecka smacks back into the net on the return. She nets on the third match point before the Russians have their own game point, but at the fourth attempt the Czechs finally convert to win the doubles rubber 64 62 and with it the Fed Cup title.
Kirilenko/Vesnina* 4-6 2-5 Hradecka/Peschke
Point of the match! Kirilenko clips the net, Peschke somehow retrieves, Hradecka stretches for a volley and then Peschke finishes off the point. The Czechs take a 30-0 lead before Peschke sends a forehand long. Vesnina pounces on a weak Peschke second serve and nearly decapitates Hradecka in the process to level at 30-30. Hradecka buries a volley for 40-30 but Vesnina passes on the very next point to take it to deuce. The Czechs finally hold after a second advantage and are now within touching distance of the Fed Cup.
Kirilenko/Vesnina 4-6 2-4 Hradecka/Peschke*
Kirilenko maintains her composure and the Russians hold at a crucial time in the match. The hosts need to break and fast.
Kirilenko/Vesnina* 4-6 1-4 Hradecka/Peschke
Hradecka fires down an ace at 40-15 to consolidate the Czech break of serve. They need just two more games for a first Fed Cup title as an independent nation.
Kirilenko/Vesnina 4-6 1-3 Hradecka/Peschke*
A rapid exchange at the net and Hradecka finds a winner to force deuce. The Russians net to hand the Czechs an advantage before Kirilenko hits the ball long and the Czechs have the first break of serve in the second set and are closing in on the Fed Cup title.
Kirilenko/Vesnina* 4-6 1-2 Hradecka/Peschke
The Czechs continue their solid play and Peschke holds to take a 2-1 lead.
Kirilenko/Vesnina 4-6 1-1 Hradecka/Peschke*
The Russians get back on level terms at the start of the second set with a comfortable hold for Kirilenko.
Kirilenko/Vesnina* 4-6 0-1 Hradecka/Peschke
Hradecka holds to keep the momentum going firmly in the Czech’s favour.
FIRST SET Hradecka/Peschke 6-4
Kirilenko/Vesnina 4-6 Hradecka/Peschke*
The Czechs take the lead at 0-30 on Vesnina's serve and the crowd and the bench go wild. Peschke hits a forehand return winner cross court to set up three set points. They convert at the third attempt to take the first set and now need just one more set to win the Fed Cup!
Kirilenko/Vesnina* 4-5 Hradecka/Peschke
Hradecka exorcises the demons of the last service game with a solid hold to love.
Kirilenko/Vesnina 4-4 Hradecka/Peschke*
Kirilenko scampers to hit a forehand winner down the line to take the score to 30-30 but serves a double fault to hand another break point opportunity to the Czechs, which they convert after Hradecka hits a flat return which Vesnina can only volley long.
Kirilenko/Vesnina* 4-3 Hradecka/Peschke
Peschke stays calm under pressure and holds serve but not before Hradecka finds time to hit Kirilenko again! The hand instantly goes up from the Czech to apologise. She looks up for this though.
Kirilenko/Vesnina 4-2 Hradecka/Peschke*
Three break points saved on Vesnina's serve and the Russians move into a 4-2 lead in the opening set.
Kirilenko/Vesnina* 3-2 Hradecka/Peschke
The Russians get the first break of serve as the Czechs let a return sail past them and into the open court.
Kirilenko/Vesnina 2-2 Hradecka/Peschke*
Kirilenko doubles faults and then Hradecka smacks the ball at the Russian to force 0-30. The Russians hit back, though, and get a little lucky when a net cord diverts the ball past Peschke's racket to take the game.
Kirilenko/Vesnina* 1-2 Hradecka/Peschke
The Czechs go down 0-30 after an error from each player before Hradecka hits an overhead so hard that it nearly knocks the Fed Cup trophy off its pedestal! She really is thumping the ball. They take a 40-30 lead and then convert to go 2-1 up.
Kirilenko/Vesnina 1-1 Hradecka/Peschke*
Vesnina opens proceedings for the Russians and they are forced to a deuce game. The Czech combo is working well as Hradecka seems intent on hitting the life out of the ball while Peschke is more inclined to use her experience to nudge the ball around the court. The Russians hold to level the score.
Kirilenko/Vesnina* 0-1 Hradecka/Peschke
A big ace down the middle from Hradecka and the Czechs have game point at 40-30, which they convert when the Russians send the ball long.
So the Russians have made a change to their doubles nominations. Maria Kirilenko comes in to replace Anastasia Pavluchenkova. Kirilenko will be teaming up with her good friend, Elena Vesnina, and will be hoping to win the Fed Cup title for the home team.
They are faced by a Czech doubles team made up of Lucie Hradecka and Kveta Peschke - both of whom have won a Grand Slam doubles title this year. It's too close to call.
Lucie Hradecka and Kveta Peschke (CZE) - 06/11/2011
Captain Petr Pala (CZE) - 06/11/2011
Maria Kirilenko and Elena Vesnina (RUS) - 06/11/2011