Kenin to open Fed Cup final for United States against Strycova

Fed Cup final: Czech Rep go 2-0 up against United States

The Czechs swept the opening-day singles matches on Saturday to go 2-0 up against the United States, the defending champions, in front of a sold-out O2 Arena in Prague.

· The semi-finals: Czech Republic beat Germany 4-1 to reach the final, the us beat France, 3-2.

Rinaldi helped the US a year ago win an 18th Fed Cup, but first since 2000.

The inexperienced US team are without Serena and Venus Williams as well as Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, while the hosts have Karolina Pliskova injured. But Kenin, who underwent treatment on her left thigh, came back and took a 5-4 lead before earning two match points. "Anything can happen in the Fed Cup and tomorrow's another day".

The result means the Czechs have now won the event six times in the last eight years, their latest triumph coming despite being without the injured Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova, who was absent from Saturday's singles due to illness.

Siniakova looked ready to cruise through after getting a break point in Kenin's first service game.

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The reverse singles, for which Kvitova could be drafted in if well enough, take place on Sunday, ahead of the final doubles rubber between world number one pair Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova and Melichar and Collins. The returners had the opportunities in the first four games of the match and Siniakova converted one in the fourth game to open a 4-1 lead, only to get broken at love in game seven and keep Riske in contention.

Despite also losing their two best players just before the final, the Czechs proved their dominance in the women's team tournament this decade, leaning on the hustle of Siniakova. Only Alison Riske has participated before, in three ties.

The US have dominated the Czechs in Fed Cup play and hold a 10-2 record against their final opponents. "It was up and down, nerves", 22-year-old Siniakova said on the court after the match that was just short of the longest rubber -- at four hours flat -- in Fed Cup history.

The 32-year-old Strycova, who has announced retirement from the Fed Cup after the final, struggled with her serve throughout a nervous first set. "I'm so happy that I could win today in front of such a crowd", Strycova said.

"For me it was a lot of emotions".

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