Fed Cup: Czech Republic beat Serbia to retain title in Prague
Last updated on .From the section Tennis
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 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 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."