Fed Cup: Czech Republic beat Russia to retain title

Czech Republic duo Karolina Pliskova (left) and Barbora Strycova
Czech Republic duo Karolina Pliskova (left) and Barbora Strycova helped the Czechs retain their Fed Cup title

Defending champions the Czech Republic won a dramatic decisive doubles rubber against Russia to secure a fourth Fed Cup title in five years.

Resuming at 1-1, Maria Sharapova put Russia 2-1 up with a 3-6 6-4 6-2 win over Petra Kvitova.

Karolina Pliskova beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 6-4 to level things.

In the decider, Pliskova and Barbora Strycova beat Elena Vesnina and Pavlyuchenkova 4-6 6-3 6-2 to secure a 3-2 win for the Czechs.

The match lasted more than two hours, with Russia gaining an early advantage before the Czech pair fought back to secure victory.

"It's the first experience for me in the Fed Cup so I'm really happy how we made it and we both played really good," said world number 11 Pliskova.

"It's definitely one of the biggest wins in my career. I was trying to focus on my serve and it was working so I'm really happy for that."

The Czechs have won the Fed Cup nine times overall, including Czechoslovakia's five before its split in 1993.

Strycova added: "I'm speechless, it was unbelievable."

Anne Keothavong on Twitter

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