Fed Cup: Czech Republic to face France in final

Czech Republic celebrate
The Czechs have been beaten just once in the Fed Cup since 2010

The Czech Republic will take on France in the Fed Cup final after both teams came through decisive doubles contests to win their semi-finals.

France's Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic saw off surprise semi-finalists the Netherlands in Trelaze.

Karolina Pliskova and Lucie Hradecka gave the Czechs victory over Switzerland in Lucerne.

The Czech Republic will try to win the Fed Cup for the fifth time in six years in November's final.

Kiki Bertens beat Mladenovic in singles to put the Dutch 2-1 up against France, and within sight of another huge shock after they beat Russia in Moscow in the quarter-finals.

However, Garcia then beat 257th-ranked Arantxa Rus in straight sets, before teaming up with Mladenovic to battle past Bertens and Richel Hogenkamp 4-6 6-3 6-3 in the doubles.

"It's difficult to get so close to your goal and then lose, it's hard to take," said Dutch captain Paul Haarhuis.

Viktorija Golubic, ranked 129th in the world, had kept Switzerland in touch with the Czechs thanks to two singles wins, but she and Martina Hingis went down 6-2 6-2 to Pliskova and Hradecka in the decider.

French Fed Cup team captain Amelie Mauresmo (R) encourages Caroline Garcia (C) and Kristina Mladenovic
Amelie Mauresmo combines coaching Andy Murray with captaining the French Fed Cup team

"It was sensational the way they played," said Czech captain Petr Pala.

"The key was the depth of our team today. It gave me more opportunities to make the doubles team. It is a great feeling for the camp. The sprit is there, everybody wants to win the cup."

The final will take place in France, with the venue yet to be decided, on 12-13 November.

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