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04 November 2012

Safarova clinches title for Czechs


MATCH REPORT

Photo: Paul Zimmer/Srdjan StevanovicLucie Safarova (CZE)

CZECH REPUBLIC WINS THE 2012 FED CUP BY BNP PARIBAS!

The teams emerge for the trophy presentation. Jankovic looks very teary. The crowd lifts the roof off the O2 Arena when the Czechs are announced as 2012 champions.

Jubilant scenes here in Prague as the team does a lap of honour with their national flag before Lucie Safarova and Andrea Hlavackova reenact their Facebook dance to Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe". Prague is in party mode.

Safarova d. Jankovic 61 61
That's it! Safarova keeps her composure to secure three match points to win the 2012 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas title. She converts the second with another forehand winner down the line and punches the air in delight. Well deserved.

Safarova 61 5-1 Jankovic*
Lucie Safarova will serve for the Fed Cup Final in the next game after hitting her oppnoent off the court with a pair of scintillating forehand winners down the line. The crowd expects...

Safarova* 61 4-1 Jankovic
Safarova has never sealed the decisive point in a Fed Cup tie before so what better time to do it than in a home final? The Czech holds to love with some great serving to put herself on the brink of greatness.

Safarova 61 3-1 Jankovic*
Jankovic saves break point at 30-40 down after a couple of great points from Safarova. The Serbian is still fighting but she is making too many unforced errors herself today - the curse of Safarova? Jankovic hits a looping forehand long and Safarova has a break in the second set now.

Safarova* 61 2-1 Jankovic
And another easy hold this time for Safarova. I think she and the corwd sense that this one is there for the taking.

Safarova 61 1-1 Jankovic*
Better from Jankovic. She holds fairly comfortably but she looks very unhappy. The Serbian bench are doing their best to encourage her. The best thing right now would be an early break of serve in the second set.

Safarova* 61 1-0 Jankovic
Jankovic calls for the trainer so there will be a slightly longer break between sets. The Serbian receives a medical timeout and then takes a couple of pills (painkillers?) so she's obviously struggling with something and not just her backhand. Safarova holds and looks completely in control. Much more of this and the Czechs will win a seventh Fed Cup title.

FIRST SET SERBIA 61

Safarova 6-1 Jankovic*
Lucie Safarova was desperately disappointed not to have won a point in last year's Fed Cup Final against Russia and the way she is playing here she could be on the verge of being the star of the show. She smacks a forehand winner down the line to go 40-30 up and takes the first set after Jankovic fires a cross court backhand out.

Safarova* 5-1 Jankovic
Safarova takes a 40-15 lead before Jankovic moves her around the court to make the score 40-30. The Serbian hits a backhand just wide when trying to work an angle and Safarova is a game away from this first set.

Safarova 4-1 Jankovic*
Jelena Jankovic said yesterday that she was dreaming that Serbia could still make a comeback and win their first Fed Cup title. She saves one break point at 30-40 before finally getting on the scoreboard with a good first serve that Safarova hits long. Time to make that dream a reality Jelena as it's a long way back from here in this first set.

Safarova* 4-0 Jankovic
Lucie Safarova races out to a 30-0 lead but is soon clawed back and forced to save break point at 30-40 on her serve. She saves another break point with a forehand winner and then takes the game when Jankovic hits wide. Helena Sukova and Jana Novotna are both watching from the Presidential box but both are containing emotions right now.

Safarova 3-0 Jankovic*
Another deuce game for Jankovic and the former world No. 1 saves break point with an ace. Safarova has started this match at a very high tempo and forces deuce after deuce with winner after winner. The Czech has brought her regular coach Biljana Veselinovic with her and it looks to be working well. No sooner does Jankovic gain the advantage than she is forced back to deuce. She twice asks captain Dejan Vranes for a tissue - hope she hasn't been spending too much time with Kvitova - and then has to face another break point before hitting a backhand long to give Safarova the perfect start.

Safarova* 2-0 Jankovic
Safarova consolidates the break but is made to work hard for her lead. At 40-30 up she puts away a speculative lob from Jankovic with a puff of the cheeks and a hard-hit forehand.

Safarova 1-0 Jankovic*
Jankovic, serving first, finds an in-form Lucie Safarova and is pushed to deuce straight away. The Serbian takes the advantage but Safarova keeps plugging away and forces an early break to settle any nerves. From the outside it's Jankovic who looks less nervous but that just might have changed.

*Denotes server

 


 

Having barely had time to draw breath after that wonderful victory for Ana Ivanovic over Petra Kvitova in the first of the reverse singles we now turn our attention to Lucie Safarova against Jelena Jankovic.

These two players probably didn't even think they would be playing today - had Kvitova won earlier they would have been surplus to requirement - and now they could be the difference between sending this final into a decisive fifth rubber.

Safarova looked good yesterday but was flattered by Ivanovic's number of unforced errors. Jankovic meanwhile was no match for Kvitova despite taking an early break in the first set.

The Serbian leads their head-to-head 5-1 but this is Fed Cup. Bring. It. On.

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  • More photos

    • Lucie Safarova (CZE)Lucie Safarova (CZE)
    • Lucie Safarova (CZE)Lucie Safarova (CZE), captain Petr Pala and Petra Kvitova (CZE)
    • Lucie Safarova and Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) dance on courtJelena Jankovic (SRB)
    • Petra Kvitova (CZE) cheers on Lucie Safarova (CZE)Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
    • Jelena Jankovic (SRB)Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
    • Lucie Safarova (CZE)
     
 
 

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