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Czech Women Beat Serbia To Repeat As Fed Cup Tennis Champs

Czech tennis player Petra Kvitova (seen here during her championship run at Wimbledon in 2011) won one of her two matches in the finals.
The Czech Republic has won its second straight Fed Cup women's tennis title with a homecourt 3-1 victory over Serbia.

In the decisive match on November 4, Czech Lucie Safarova demolished former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic 6-1, 6-1 with pinpoint accuracy and an exuberant crowd in Prague to root her on.

Safarova regarded her dominant performance -- winning both her weekend matches -- as especially sweet after being blanked in last year's final, in which the Czech Republic squeezed by Russia 3-2 thanks to a doubles victory.

In their spirited defense of the cup this year, the Czechs took a 2-0 lead in the first day of action.

But Serbia's Ana Ivanovic reignited Serbia's hopes with a strong 6-3, 7-5 win over current world No. 8 Petra Kvitova, who was said to have been battling a virus along with fatigue from her match the previous day. Kvitova looked a step slow to nearly everything Ivanovic threw at her.

But it was an uphill climb for the visiting Serbs, with chances for a clinching point in either the singles battle or doubles, where the third- and fourth-ranked doubles players in the world, 2011 French Open doubles champs Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, were standing by if the competition came down to the wire.

It was Serbia's first appearance in a Fed Cup final.

The Czech Republic won the trophy in Moscow last year, but expressed special pride at defending the title at home in the Czech capital.

It is the seventh Fed Cup championship for the Czechs, five of which were won as the former Czechoslovakia.

The United States is the all-time leader in Fed Cup wins with 17, with Australia and the Czechs now tied for second at seven.

Based on RFE/RL, AFP, and AP reporting