Fed Cup: Czech Republic beat Serbia to retain title in Prague
The Czech Republic secured back-to-back Fed Cup titles with a 3-1 win over Serbia before fervent fans in Prague.
A backhand winner from world number 17 Lucie Safarova sparked celebratory scenes in the Czech capital as she beat Jelena Jankovic 6-1 6-1.
Petra Kvitova and Safarova had put the defending champions in control on Saturday by winning the opening singles rubbers for a 2-0 lead.
Ana Ivanovic reduced the arrears by beating Kvitova 6-3 7-5 on Sunday.
But Safarova defeated Serb number two Jankovic in one hour and 17 minutes to prevent the first-time finalists becoming the first team in the competition's history to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the final.
The Fed Cup
The Fed Cup is an international team event for women. Like the men's Davis Cup, ties are played in a best-of-five format with four singles and one doubles match. Nations are organised into groups, with the eight in the top-flight World Group playing a knockout competition to determine the champions
The world number 17 hit 32 winners, describing her performance against the world number 22 as one of her best.
"It's hard to describe how I feel. I played an unbelievable game," Safarova said. "I desperately wanted to win and I'm really delighted. It's fantastic to win at home, in Prague. I played one of the best matches of my career."
Kvitova seemed to be suffering from the ill-effects of a cold that forced her to pull out of last week's WTA Championship.
The defeat by Ivanovic ended the world number eight's 11-game unbeaten run in the Fed Cup.
"I lost a lot of strength [on Saturday] and I was also drained emotionally," said Kvitova.
"I lacked energy. The doctor gave me some sugar during a bathroom break but it didn't help much."