Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova used her powerful serve and forehand to clinch victory for Czech Republic over Italy in the Fed Cup semifinals and give the host a chance to defend its title.
The third-ranked Kvitova overcame Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 (1) on Sunday to give the Czechs an insurmountable 3-0 lead and wrap up the best-of-the five series on an indoor hardcourt at the CEZ Arena.
''I really wanted to be in the final again,'' Kvitova said. ''It's unbelievable. It was an unbelievable feeling (to win).
The Czechs beat Russia in last year's final with Kvitova winning both her singles matches.
Kvitova converted her second match point with a forehand winner to improve her Fed Cup singles record to 15-4.
She has won her last 10 Fed Cup singles matches.
Kvitova didn't waste time in the opening set, breaking her 12th-ranked opponent to jump into a 3-0 lead before dropping her serve twice, allowing Schiavone to come back. Under pressure, ...