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04 July 2011

Wimbledon gives a taste of Fed Cup final


NEWS ARTICLE

Petra Kvitova (CZE) 2010

Last April, both Czech Republic and Russia proved their status as the two biggest powers in women tennis when they booked a place in November's Fed Cup by BNP Paribas final. In case anyone still had any doubts about the outstanding level of women tennis in these two countries, this year's Wimbledon has cleared them all.

The dominance of players from these two Eastern European nations in the 125th edition of The Championships has been significant and it goes beyond the singles draw.

A look at the doubles competition would see a Czech player, Kveta Peschke, partnering Katarina Srebotnik, winning the title for the first time since Jana Novotna in 1998.

In the mixed doubles, another Czech player, Iveta Benesova, partnering Jurgen Melzer, lifted the title after defeating a couple formed by Russian Elena Vesnina and Mahesh Bhupathi.

This means that there has been a Czech female player winning in every possible final and in the Russians case, they have made it to all the finals except doubles but failed to lift any of the trophies.

But it was the singles draw that offered a potential glimpse of the Fed Cup final as it ended with a clash between two players that could meet in November's decisive tie. 21-year-old Petra Kvitova faced Russia's Maria Sharapova in what could be a taste of matches to come in the Fed Cup final. The young Czech defeated the Russian comprehensively in two sets and completed a dream Wimbledon tournament for Czech Republic.

Despite her youth, Kvitova has been playing a crucial role in her country's Fed Cup campaigns since her debut in 2007. The new Wimbledon champion was a key figure in Czech Republic's success in April's tight semifinal tie against Belgium. Her victories in both her singles matches proved decisive to secure a narrow 3-2 victory and a place in the final.

Sharapova's presence in this year's Fed Cup final is not as certain as Kvitova's. However, her return to the team in the first round increases the chance of a repeat of the Wimbledon final taking place when the two nations meet at Moscow’s Olympic Stadium in November.

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