Czech-mate! Siniakova clinches Fed Cup glory in Prague

Despite another battling performance from Sofia Kenin, United States was swept aside by Czech Republic in the Fed Cup final.

The Czech Republic squad celebrate after winning the 2018 Fed Cup in Prague.   -  Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Czech Republic secured the Fed Cup for an 11th time as Katerina Siniakova defeated Sofia Kenin to give the hosts an unassailable 3-0 lead over 2017 champions United States in Prague.

Having defeated Alison Riske in her opening singles rubber, Siniakova prevailed in a tense deciding set against Kenin to win 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 at the end of a see-saw battle that spanned three hours and 45 minutes.

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.

An eventful opener set the tone as the two players combined for seven breaks of serve, Siniakova finally taking it in the 12th game on her third set-point opportunity.

However, Kenin hit back in the second set, breaking to go 6-5 ahead before serving out to level the contest.

Siniakova responded to the setback by easing to a 3-0 lead, while she came out on top in a dramatic fifth game – in part thanks to a fortunate net-cord – that spanned 19 minutes, making it 4-1.

However, with the finishing line in sight, the world number 31 stuttered. Kenin reeled off four games in a row to move in front and had two match points in the 10th game, though she failed to convert either.

Having survived the double scare on her own serve, Siniakova broke in the next. When Kenin then sent a forehand long in the 12th game, the Czechs were able to celebrate in front of a noisy crowd at the O2 Arena.

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