The Czech Republic made a strong start to their Fed Cup title defense with two comfortable victories over Serbia, whose chances for maiden Fed Cup crown look very slim.
Lucie Safarova and Ana Ivanovic took the court first. The match was opened by Ivanovic holding her serve after fending off a break point, but that was as much of a lead the Serb had in the match, as Safarova went up a break in the third game, and even though Ivanovic leveled to 2-2, another break in the seventh game sealed the Serb's fate. Safarova continued her solid game in the second set and beat Ivanovic, who was coming back from a hip injury sustained in Moscow, 6-4 6-3 for the fourth straight time.
The next match was between Petra Kvitova and Jelena Jankovic. Even though still affected by illness, Kvitova brushed Jankovic aside 6-4 6-1. The Serb actually started off strongly, with a 4-2 lead, but then she lost seven straight games en route to a quick goodbye.
Tomorrow we will have reverse singles in the Fed Cup final – Petra Kvitova vs. Ana Ivanovic and Lucie Safarova vs. Jelena Jankovic. Judging by today's outcome, the Sunday action should not look different. Moreover, the Czech doubles team of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka has won four WTA titles this season and played the finals of Wimbledon, US Open, Olympic Games and WTA Championships, while the Serbian team of Bojana Jovanovski and Aleksandra Krunic has a big heart but a modest doubles biography. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)