The U.S. trails Czechs 2-0 in the Fed Cup fi­nal


Prague — Barbora Strycova and Ka­te­rina Sini­akova won their sin­gles for the Czech Re­pub­lic to take a com­mand­ing 2-0 over the de­fend­ing cham­pion United States in the Fed Cup fi­nal on Satur­day.

Strycova ral­lied from a set down to de­feat Sofia Kenin 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-4.

Sini­akova stretched the ad­van­tage by dis­patch­ing Ali­son Riske 6-3, 7-6 (2) to the de­light of more than 14,000 fans at Prague's O2 Arena.

"It couldn't be bet­ter," Sini­akova said. "But it's not fin­ished yet and we need to be ready for to­mor­row. We need to stay fo­cused and I be­lieve that we will win."

The Czechs are one win away from their sixth ti­tle in eight years.

U.S. cap­tain cap­tain Kathy Ri­naldi gave credit to the Czech play­ers but said, "I re­ally think we could have been up 2-0, too.

"It was just a day of missed op­por­tu­ni­ties in my opin­ion. Any­thing can hap­pen in the Fed Cup and to­mor­row's an­other day."

To win, the 18-time cham­pion U.S. would have to be­come the first team to come back from 2-0 down in the fi­nal.

In to­day's re­verse sin­gles, Kenin will go against Sini­akova, and Riske will meet Strycova.

In dou­bles, the last match of the fi­nal, Riske and Danielle Collins are sched­uled to meet No. 1-ranked pair Barbora Kre­j­cikova and Sini­akova on the in­door hard-court.

Sini­akova broke Riske for 6-5 in the sec­ond set but the 63rd -ranked Amer­i­can forced a tiebreaker.

The Czech dom­i­nated it, con­vert­ing the sec­ond match point when Riske sent a back­hand wide.

"I was just en­joy­ing the mo­ment and try­ing to play my game," Sini­akova said. "I was en­joy­ing the at­mos­phere and ev­ery­thing. It was amaz­ing for me."

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